United Arab Emirates History
The UAE is the country that is aimed at success in economy, progress, development, and political system the most in the Middle East. The traditions and the equality questions have been overlooked numerous times. Today, women take part in all spheres of the countrys life and contribute to the workforce. The first step to such a big change was selecting the first woman to the Cabinet. Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi achieved the post of an Economy and Planning Minister in 2004 and soon became the most influential woman in the UAE. The report reflects the successful story of the first woman who became the minister in Emirates.
Islamic heritage of the UAE did not give the chance to women to receive the qualified education, the same level of salaries with men, and a position in the political process of the country. In 2007, the United Nations created the Development Program where the empowerment of women was described (Otaiba, 2017). Ever since, the gender equality in employment, education access, and service provided was completed on the highest level. As a result, many women became students and received the same wages on the important and high-rated positions in numerous spheres in the UAE. It became possible for them to achieve success and fulfill active citizens' position in the country. Such changes have shown that the UAE is ready to implement modern principles into its rich historical background. Previously, the education and the positions in politics were not common for females and their social activeness was limited. Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bint Sultan Al Qasimi, born in 1962, became the first woman who gain a success in this field. She went to California State University to study and obtain there her bachelor's degree in computer science as she always wanted. Master's degree in Business Administration was her next step to her dream, which she fulfilled at the University of Sharjah in the USA. Except of diplomas, she has three Honorary Doctorates in law and economics. The first was from California State University, the second was from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, and the third one from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Korea. In 1982, she became a programmer. Her next position was a senior manager in Dubai Ports Authority. It brought her Distinguished Government Employee Award in 1999. Next year, Sheikha Lubna started to work in Tejari as the CEO. The company was promoting e-commerce in the Middle East (First lady of foreign trade, 2012). After four years, in 2004 the future minister was working in Public sector of Dubai holding the position of the responsible for initiatives. From the same 2004 till 2008, Sheikha was the Chairperson of the UAEs Securities and Commodities Authority.
In 2004, she started her path in Cabinet with a position of a Minister of Economy (Afolayan, 2016). In 2008, she hold the role of a Minister of Foreign Trade (Afolayan, 2016). From 2013 to 2016, the position of a Minister of International Cooperation and Development belonged to her (Afolayan, 2016). Besides, Zayed University established Sheikha in the position of the Presidents of their institution in March 2014 (Afolayan, 2016). In the same year, her list of positions widened with the Head of the UAE Committee of Humanitarian Aid (Afolayan, 2016). In 2016, she changed the position to a Minister of State for Tolerance. On this post, she managed to propose the UAEs diversification strategy that implicates tight trade connections with international partners. The UAE is an important exporter of values for the USA on the Middle East. Considering this, Lubna had a meeting with Hilari Clinton that brought the intended results. The country of the UAE increased its bilateral trade with India, China, and Korea. The Minister of Trade was working hard to promote investments in her country through international meetings such as World Economic Forum and the Council of Foreign Relations (Time to aim high, 2012). This woman is a member of such organizations as Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Emirates foundation. She is a curator of educational institutions such as Electronic-Total Quality Management College and American Graduate School of International Management. Sheikha cares about health foundations and is on the board of Directors for the Dubai Autism Center. She possess the volunteering position in Friends of Cancer Patients Society. Such outstanding career helped her to be recognizable around the world. However, the woman did not want to have recognition; her wish was to achieve better and faster development to the country. Sheikhas personal and professional achievements were awarded numerous times. The first was in 2000 from ITP The Best Personal Achievement Award and then from Dubai Quality Group for Support to Leadership, Quality, and Change in the same year (Womens initiative awards, n.d.). Datamix mentioned her in 2001 and 2002 but in different nominations. IT Woman of the year in Business was the first award from them, and next year it was Outstanding Contribution. Sheikha was given the title Kentucky Colonel in 2003 (Women's initiative awards, n.d.). Great Britains House of Lords gave her Entrepreneurship Award in 2004 (Women's initiative awards, n.d.). The same year was successful in terms of one more American Business Award from American Business Council of Dubai & the Northern Emirates. She received Arab Technology Award for Outstanding Contribution to E-Commerce and Premio Minerva International Award for outstanding contribution to the Politics & Economy in 2005 (Women's initiative awards, n.d.).
Today, she holds the post of Minister of State for Tolerance. Sheikha is sure that the concept of tolerance is important policy and should be followed around the globe. The policy includes the religious tolerance that was one of the principles in the UAE from its establishment. The Minister works with governments of other countries on the resistance to violent extremism. Under her control, in 2015 the Cabinet prepared the law according to which any discrimination is illegal (WAM, 2017). The UAEs National Tolerance Program expands on race, color, sect, ethnicity, and religion discrimination. Moreover, in order to squelch the extremism, the program encourages the youth to receive education and satisfy their aspirations and propositions through initiatives and governmental support (WAM, 2017). Sheikha admitted that her job as Minister for Tolerance has already given the results in the UAE. More than two hundreds nationalities live in Emirates, and they coexist in peace and harmony regardless of their traditions and religious background. Sheikha said that the UAE and tolerance are two sides of the same coin (Lubna, 2016).
Sheikha Lubna believes that Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, a founder and the President of the UAE started to develop the equality between men and women. His vision of the same gender participation in country's life was impressive. Thanks to her decisions and family, Sheikha could follow her dream to become the computer engineer. Well-educated and ambitious, she could stay in the USA, the country of a wide range of opportunities. However, she decided to come back home and push the country to progress in the direction of high development and well-being. She was given the opportunity to work in the desired field of technology and felt like she needs to give something back to the country, its leaders and her family (Moukhallati, 2016).
The Sheikha's experience of becoming an influential woman in Arab world inspires her country's female population to be not afraid to fight and work hard for the dream. Naturally, at the time when she received the post, it was not very easy for a woman to hold the senior positions. However, her family's support together with excellent education and desire to help her country in numerous questions made her career successful and powerful. The Cabinet of Ministers in the UAE equally employs both men and women, and the number of females has increased. This change displays appreciation of woman's role not only as a housewife and a mother but also as a partner in business and political events. The opinion counts and the process of decision-making opened for a woman as well. The role of Sheikha in e-commerce market at first, the trading policy then and tolerance law was fundamental to the UAE. Her knowledge and conversance together with competency in such questions allowed the company and the country to increase earnings and budget respectively.
To conclude, the traditional role of females in the UAE has changed during recent years. Though previously it was forbidden to a woman occupy the position in the Cabinet, today, government encourages the youth to receive education and build a career. In times when the society was not ready for transformations, the first woman was chosen to be a Minister. Those who knew her were not surprised because of her enlightenment ideas, and readiness to return back to her country. Starting as a businesswoman, she moved up on the career ladder to the Minister of International Cooperation and Development, the Minister of Economy, and the Minister of Foreign Trade. The achievements during this period in implementing diversification strategy, investment implication and increased international trade could not be made without her permission. Nowadays, Sheikha develops tolerance principles in the position of Minister of State for Tolerance. Her example of following a dream is inspiring for numerous females and not only in the Arabic world. She showed that intelligence is the key to success in politics and business with no matter of gender. I believe, her achievements have not finished, and the UAEs face in the international political arena will flourish thanks to her.
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