Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bin Mubarak, Wife of President His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, speaks of her view of the role of Arab women.
Sheikha Fatima said that the forum emphasised the need to instill Arab and Islamic values in young generations and to benefit from the modernity without undermining Arab traditions and heritage.
But, she does go on to say:
Sheikha Fatima said that the UAE woman had achieved a significant and gradual progress over the years due to the patronage and support of His HIghness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
She added that the UAE woman had become a real partner with man in working for the country's development, noting that laws had been passed giving woman equal rights in work, salary, and social security.
She said she hoped that the day would come when the UAE woman would be an effective member of the Federal National Council, FNC, as well as a minister in the cabinet.
Sheikha Fatima said that the joining of women in professions that had previously been male dominated such as the military and police forces was a positive step, asserting her strong support for women to take military and police careers.
Their struggle is how to instill Arab and Islamic values and modernize at the same time. The smaller Gulf States have been progressive when compared to the Giants of the region, Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, still they are far from liberal democracies. We'll have to waatch and see if their small steps are copied or condemned by their larger neighbors.