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Women Play Important Role in UAE's Economy

Women Play Important Role in UAE's Economy

Friday, 21 December, 2018 - 07:30
This June 13, 2013 photo provided by the Emirates News Agency, WAM, shows Mariam Al Mansouri, the first Emirati female fighter jet pilot gives the thumbs up as she sits in the cockpit of an aircraft, in United Arab Emirates.Emirates News Agency via AP file
Berlin - I'tidal Saleme
Dr. Ibtisam Al-Kitbi is the first woman in the Arab world to head a committee that plays an important economic and social role in the Gulf region.

She is the president of the UAE Policy Center, a member in the UAE's human rights committee, and a researcher in women issues.

Asharq Al-Awsat interviewed her in Berlin where she was partaking in an important international conference.

During the interview, Kitbi considered that the UAE is leading the Arab world in terms of woman representation, as the Emirati woman has made great achievements in many fields like education and ministerial titles, as well as in handling important positions in the private sector.

"The Emirati women have no limits, especially those who seek progress. I can say that I keep investing in myself, which made me the first Arab woman to handle a policy-related position" Kitbi noted.

Women have become an important productive element in the Gulf region, and one of the productive advancement factors in different areas. She is present in all fields, even in jobs that were once dedicated for men. Women of today are a productive power that cannot be overlooked.

Kitbi sees that the recent development in Saudi Arabia aiming at opening new perspectives for women has also created new opportunities, especially in communities that heavily rely on the advanced human energies.

Women fill a huge gap in the economic cycle. According to Kitbi, when half of the society is disabled, the whole society would be disabled as well. The leap that took place in Saudi Arabia is a qualitative addition to these communities, just as women are.

The president of the UAE Policy Center says that the rate of female participation in labor in the Gulf region is up to 60%. Women in Gulf work in the military and aviation fields. Everybody remembers Mariam Al-Mansouri, the first female fighter pilot of the United Arab Emirates, who led UAE mission airstrikes against ISIS.

Women also play a remarkable role in professional fields such as well-digging and nuclear energy. The Arab woman is now partaking in all the fields, not because she is a woman, but because she has the required qualifications.

Answering a question about what the public and private institutions provide to the working women so she can create a balance between her work and her family, Kitbi said: "This is a major problem not only for Gulf women, but also for all women around the world. Today, a woman plays many roles: she is a wife, a working mother, and an employee. The UAE government has adopted new legislations demanding workplaces to provide nurseries. She can also seek help by recruiting assistants in her home."

Commenting on the international developments and their impacts on the economic situation, mainly on the Gulf region and the UAE, she said: "Everyone is definitely affected by this situation, especially the countries whose economy relies on oil; therefore, we have to work on improving other sectors."

Kitbi explained that the UAE is investing in many other areas such as clean nuclear energy, and solar power, and plans to invest in high-end technology, space industry, and the fourth industrial revolution, so it can convoy advances, tech transformations, and the IT revolution.

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