By: Fatma Bujsaim
|Image: far right, Sultan Al Qassemi speaking|
I am here to salute every single woman that touched my life, beginning with my own grandmother, said Sultan Al Qassimi, a current affairs commentator, in the 100 years celebration of women and leadership conference. The event was organized by Mubadala and was held in Rotana Beach Hotel in Abu Dhabi.
The conference, where Al Qassimi had been part of a panel discussion on communication, hosted a lot of big females names from the United Arab Emirates such as Najla Al Awadhi, former member of the Federal National Council and founder of Najla Al Awadhi consulting, and Noura Al Kaabi head of Tawasol in TwoFour54, and many more.
Sultan Al Qassimi, who is widely known for his efforts in continuously tweeting about the recent revolutions in the region, has emphasized on the importance of women in the society and the workforce itself. He believes that it is not a matter of gender, “we do suffer from some sort of superiority/inferiority” he said, “some men think they are better and that is not the case, some men are better and there are some women who are better”; it is a matter of the person itself and his own achievements, goals, and ambitions.
“When I tweeted yesterday I’d be speaking in this conference,” added Al Qassimi, “A lot of people replied with: but you’re not a woman. But that does not mean I am not part of this community; this is a community that is part of me and I am part of this community,” Al Qassimi also states that we need to “desegregate this isolation” between men and women in some sectors of society.
Al Qassimi also points out that women do have their rights in the United Arab Emirates but she could ask for more; she should ask for more. One of those rights Al Qassimi discussed is passing her citizenship to her children if she married a non-Emirati. The UAE law does not allow Emirati women to pass down her citizenship to her children if she marries non-Emirati, where as it allows Emirati men to freely do so. “You either take it away from both, or you give to both. The equality has to be demanded, not just by women, but by men as well.”
He also points out that the women leaders in the UAE such as our female ambassadors, judges, members of parliament, and ministers, now have a responsibility of carrying the torch and continue for the generation that will come after them. “They have to educate themselves, they have to empower themselves, and they have to stand up, because the generation that comes after them will question them just like your generation today is questioning the ones that came before you: what have you done for women?” states Al Qassimi.
The UAE current affairs commentator and columnist has ended with emphasizing the importance of education, documenting, and research, and the role women play in it. Women have the skills, and it is now time for them to use those skills in making a difference.
Audio: Quote from Sultan Al Qassemi