Emirati Women’s Day 2022: Inspirational females in the UAE
The UAE celebrates Emirati Women’s Day annually on August 28. Here’s a closer look at some of the inspirational women from the Gulf country.
Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union (GWU), said that the theme of Emirati Women’s Day 2022 will be “Inspiring Reality, Sustainable Future,” UAE state press agency WAM reported in April this year.
Sheikha Fatima is also the President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF).
Aisha al-Mansoori: First female air captain
In one of the latest achievements of Emirati women in August this year one Etihad pilot became the UAE’s first female Emirati captain.
Pilot Aisha al-Mansoori made UAE aviation history after earning her stripes as the country’s first female commercial captain.
Al-Mansoori joined the UAE national airline in 2007 and said she was “very grateful” to have had the chance to grow her aviation career with Etihad Airways.
“I am proud to be the first female Emirati to be a Captain in a commercial airline, and I hope I will be an inspiration to young women to follow this career path,” she said at the time.
Dr. Mona Khashwani: UAE’s first Emirati physician to perform robotic surgery
In June this year Dr. Mona Khashwani – from Sharjah’s al-Qassimi Women and Children’s Hospital – performed the robotic surgery using the advanced Da Vinci system, Emirates Health Services said in a statement at the time.
The surgeon is one of the UAE’s most experienced doctors in the robotic surgery field. She graduated from London’s Queen Mary University in 2005 and was then nominated by the hospital’s Director of Laparoscopic Operations and Robotic Surgery Program, Dr. Zaki al-Mazki al-Shamsi, to join the women robotics surgeons’ program.
Business owner Huda al-Matroushi
Huda al-Matroushi is one of few Emirati women to venture into the car repair business, an industry that has long been dominated by men in the Arab world.
“I enjoy it a lot,” Matroushi said in an interview with Al Arabiya English in 2021. “Because I’m on top of my job, and it’s my business, I belong to it: I feel proud of myself.”
She turned her passion for automobiles into a profession and now owns and manages a car repair shop in Sharjah, one of the seven emirates that make up the UAE.
Proud Malayali: First female school bus driver in the UAE
Suja Thankachan, one of the few women in the UAE to have a heavy driving license, has been named the first female school bus driver in the country. Suja, a native of Thrikkadavoor, Kurippuzha, Kollam, was the bus conductor of The Millennium School in Al Qusais, Dubai got the heavy vehicle license a year ago.
As she covered the headlines back then, she received job offers from several private schools in the UAE.
Sarah al-Amiri and Nora al-Matrooshi: Leaders in the space field
Sarah al-Amiri is the UAE’s Minister of State for Advanced Technology, she has also been the UAE Space Agency chairperson since August 2020, according to her LinkedIn.
Another female pioneer in the UAE space industry is Nora al-Matrooshi. She’s the first Arab female astronaut.
According to a Vogue article, al-Matrooshi was born in 1993 in the emirate of Sharjah. She received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the United Arab Emirates University in 2015.
Reem al-Hashimy: Minister of State for International Cooperation
In February 2016, Reem al-Hashimy was sworn in as minister in the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in 2016, according to the UAE government website.
Before taking on the role, al-Hashimy led the UAE’s bid to host the World Expo 2020 in Dubai.