Najla Al Awadhi, former member of the FNC and Chief Executive at Dubai Media incorporated, recently inaugurated the “Emirati Women Breaking Barriers” Forum at The Higher Colleges of Technology–Dubai Women’s Campus, which
The forum, organized and managed by seven HCT-Dubai Corporate Communications Year-4 students, was designed to shed light on the first Emirati women in their professions, by celebrating their stories and discussing gender, family and cultural barriers.
The forum was an exceptional opportunity for these pioneering women to express their feelings and experiences in breaking the boundaries of gender, family, culture and career to become the first in their careers. It also helped to raise awareness of the importance of accepting life challenges regardless of the gender, family, culture and career of the person, and learning on how to become a successful contributor to the community.
The forum’s opening ceremony included a demonstration from Dubai Police women, a promotional video, and a keynote speech from Najla Al Awadhi who emphasized empowering women through development. She pointed out that the opportunities granted to Emirati women has meant access to higher education, employment opportunities and political office. All of these developments have impacted our society in many ways.
Dr. Aysha Albusmait, university professor and writer, moderated panel discussions under the title “Emirati women’s unusual professions and gender challenges” which included such first Emirati women in their fields as Jamila Al Zaabi (first Paramedic), Hessa Al Ossaily (first media figure) and Salma Al Baloushi (first pilot).
The panel discussion focused on discussing male views in the UAE society of women who seek unusual career paths; if their career choices were successful; and how did it affect their relationships with men in the workplace.
The forum, sponsored by Dubai Duty Free and supported by Dubai Police, launched and distributed the “First Emirati Women” book which highlights 37 first Emirati women’s careers and is written and produced by Corporate Communication Year-4 students.
The forum included an Emirati women exhibition that displayed “Mawahib”, an unconventional directory for locating Arab graphic designers, illustrators, and photographers.
The second panel discussion, “Which comes first my culture, traditions, and family or my career”, included first Emirati women speakers such as Suaad Al Shamsi (first Aircraft Engineer), Mariam Al Saffar (first metro operator) and Dr.Moza Al Kaabi (first orthopaedic doctor and surgeon). The participants discussed the issues Emirati women face in their professional lives and focused on the barriers of traditions, culture, and family.