Emirati women have made significant achievements across the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) domains with the strong support and encouragement from UAE’s leadership and the equal opportunities provided to them, according to Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Sciences.
The UAE minister made her statements during a panel discussion moderated by Tom Fletcher, former UK Ambassador to Lebanon and Visiting Professor at New York University.
In the panel session, Al Amiri underlined that for many cities and organisations across the globe the issue of prejudice against women in the labour market, especially in the field of science and technology, stems from society’s lack of support and confidence in the abilities of women.
She highlighted that this is not the case in the UAE and highlighted the nation’s progress in the field of gender balance and women empowerment in various fields including science and technology. She attributed this country’s leadership has provided women with equal opportunities in education, training and employment.
In response to a question about her optimism for the future, the UAE minister said that there are many reasons to be optimistic about the future, especially with the Mars Mission entering a critical testing phase as it closes in on its launch date of July 2020.
According to Al Amiri, the UAE has also worked hard in the development of a new economic sector based on knowledge, which is the space sector.
She then pointed out that there are many emerging sectors that open the way for the participation of women, including the space sector, which is currently still dominated by men globally.
“Around 40 percent of the team working on the Mars Mission are women, as opposed to missions of other countries where women account for 14 percent. 90 percent of the science team at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre is composed of women,” she said.
She further stressed that the concept of gender balance must start from home and that parents should have a dialogue with their children in case they are exposed to certain messages that promote gender bias.
The forum took a deeper look at the economic and social shifts taking place regionally and globally and explored how countries in the Middle East can ride these waves of change to bring more prosperity to the region.