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WASHINGTON, DC (3 December 2009) – A delegation of senior Emirati women visited Washington, DC to meet with their US counterparts in government, business and think tanks, in order to exchange views on the role of women around the world and highlight the important role women hold in UAE society. The delegation was organized and hosted by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC.
The delegation was led by Her Highness Sheikha Dr. Hind Al Qassimi, Chairwoman, Board of Directors, Emirates Businesswomen Council. She was joined on the trip by Her Highness Sheikha Khulood Al Qassimi, Director, Department for Curriculum and Instructional Materials Development at the UAE Ministry of Education; Engineer Masara Al Ameri, Urban Planning Department Manager, Masdar; Dr. Najwa Alhosani, Assistant Professor, UAE University; Dr. Maryam Matar, Deputy Chairperson, Dubai Cares.
While in Washington, the delegation met with several high-level women leaders in the US government, including Melanne Verveer, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues at the US Department of State; Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, who is the first woman in US history to be elected both Governor and US Senator; and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, who is co-chair of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues.
The delegation participated in productive discussions with US women leaders at events hosted by the Middle East Institute, Women in International Security and Vital Voices Global Partnership. Dina Habib Powell, head of Global Engagement and the 10,000 Women initiative at Goldman Sachs, delivered the keynote address at the Vital Voice briefing. The delegation also took part in a panel discussion with US businesswomen hosted by the US-UAE Business Council.
HE Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the US, honored the delegation at the UAE Embassy’s National Day gala on December 2.
“It is a mark of how far the UAE has progressed that we can commemorate the 38th National Day here in Washington with a distinguished group of UAE women leaders from the fields of business and entrepreneurship, philanthropy and education,” said Ambassador Al Otaiba. “Forty years ago, women along with men had a very limited access to education in the UAE. Today, 70 percent of graduates from UAE universities are women. We have four women as fighter pilots in the UAE Air Force. Four women serve in the UAE federal cabinet and one-fifth of our national assembly are women."