Muslim woman power
on the rise
Dubai |By Shadiah Abdullah, Staff
Reporter | 09-03-2004
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Muslim countries are beginning to awaken the creative force of their woman
power, said Benazir Bhutto, former prime minister of Pakistan.
Benazir said this at a ceremony yesterday at Dubai Women's College (DWC) in
conjunction with the United Nations International Women's Day. She said:
"This is becoming possible with the emphasis on education, health
facilities for women and work opportunities."
She stressed the important role education plays in a woman's life.
"Education is the first step to success, independence and to a satisfying
life where the full creative and intellectual powers of a person are used."
She praised the leadership of the UAE who valued education for women. Benazir
rejected the misconception that Islam is against women empowerment pointing to
the fact the religion condemned the practice of killing the girl child which was
a prevalent Arabian custom.
"I became prime minister of a Muslim country because I was inspired from
the fact that Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) married a working woman."
Dr Awadh Saleh from Unesco greeted women on behalf of Koichiro Matsuura, the
organisation's director general. She talked about 'Women Make the News in 2004',
a newly launched Unesco initiative to advance the role of women in journalism
Dr Meshgan Al Awar, Director of Police Research and Studies Centre, emphasised
the importance of knowledge-based economies. The event was attended by other
dignitaries, a GCC delegation, members of the local business community and DWC
students and graduates.
As part of their project-based curriculum, DWC diploma students arranged for
educational and cultural tents which featured women of the UAE and women from
the Arab region. The numerous themed tents included high profile UAE women from
various fields such as business, media, art and culture, health and medicine,
books and fashion.
The students also set up country specific tents which included female experts
from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Palestine, Bahrain, Qatar and
Tunisia. Food stalls representing various foods in the region were also part of
A Palestinian folk dance, a poetry reading session, a mock UAE wedding and a
dance performance by the UAE children were also held.
"The college is proud to celebrate the day, an occasion marked by women
around the world since 1909, that focuses on the struggle of women for equality,
justice, peace and development," stated Dr Howard Reed, DWC Director.
"By introducing our students to female role models from the UAE and Arab
region, we are encouraging them to focus on their goals and make their dreams a
The opening ceremony also launched a three-day event hosted by DWC's Unesco
Chair of Communications Technology and Journalism titled: 'Using Information
Technology as Empowerment Tools for Women Media Practitioners in the Gulf
The workshops will present a combination of theory and practical applications of
the state-of-the-art technologies to advance the career goals of women working
in print and broadcast media in the Gulf region.
Female media practitioners will share knowledge and experiences utilising
information technologies in media work with academics and leading media figures.
The workshop is being held in cooperation with Unesco's regional office in Doha,
Qatar, the Undp office in Abu Dhabi and the UAE-Unesco National Commission.
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