The following is the statement of the Board of Trustees In light of the nominees for the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation Award for the cultural and scientific achievement at its eleventh session 2008-2009, and after several meetings of the Board of Trustees, where it viewed all the nominees and went through their various achievements.

The Board of Trustees of Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation Decided at its meeting held on Wednesday, December 23, 2009, to grant the award of the cultural and scientific achievement of this session to Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak (Um Al-Emarat).

The Board’s decision to grant this award to HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, was in recognition  of her many achievements, all were in favor of women, not only at the local level, but also on regional and international levels, since woman file received special interest, locally, regionally and internationally, in the thought of HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, and it represented a daily and practical approach that helped the political leadership in the UAE to perform the achievements enjoyed by women at all levels, as Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak is an exceptional woman in implementing her enlightening and pioneering thought for women without departing from the principles and values that govern the society religiously and socially.At the local level, the woman file as regarded by HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, was a strategy of work, which results reflected clearly on the UAE women in particular, as women enjoyed positive attention and care, and began to take on their multiple responsibilities, and the efforts of Her Highness have made a tangible difference in the life of the UAE society by giving women these complementary roles of men’s to complete the building of a balanced and distinguished society. The work of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, began since she got married to the late

 HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of the state and the beginning of the federation establishment, with the establishment of the Abu Dhabi Women Development Association, and then with the General Women’s Union, which has become an umbrella of all women’s associations and institutions, and thus, the women’s movement in the UAE has seen a great development after the establishment of the General Women’s Union, in 1975, positioning women and their roles at the forefront of the country’s concerns.

Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak has played a leading role in promoting women’s position, which reflected in Her Highness’s initiatives in many aspect of life such as:

– Care for women in the UAE and ensuring their right to all education levels and their right to work in different areas, bringing the women to leadership positions making them assume higher responsibilities in the state, and they occupied their natural positions as ambassador for the State, members of the Federal National Council, Judges and Ministers, and they even assume active roles in the three supreme powers (executive, legislative, and judicial) and they occupied four key ministries in the Cabinet, a group of judges at courts of first instance and prosecuting attorneys, as well as a number of ambassadors.

– The history of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak and her activity confirm that she is the first woman in the state who supported the women’s movement in the UAE, as since the establishment of the General Women’s Union in 1975, and chairing it, she worked hard, to promote the importance of women’s work and improve it in all aspects.

– HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak has been a living example of the steadfastness of UAE women against outdated habits and traditions that limited their role and imprisons to a narrow area, and the efforts of HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak played a primary and active role to take action and enact laws and regulations at the state level to help women to enter the aspects of general life without prejudice to the moral and religious values of Islam.

– Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak succeeded to encourage women to show their leadership skills in different areas, including areas of most importance, such as the field of education, as it is the cornerstone for the development of any society, especially that the laws of the State ensured free education at all levels.

–  In the area of political participation, women have participated actively in the political process and public decision-making through the presence of four women ministers in the federal government and about 9 women in the National Council (parliament) which consists of 40 members. The women also participate actively through their presence in all ministries and government bodies. In the leadership positions, they constitute about 30%, according to official statistics.

– Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak contributed to the promotion of the economic participation of UAE women and running private enterprises, which contributed to the reduction of unemployment and full dependence on the state for the provision of job opportunities.

Therefore, women’s contributions to support the economy has doubled, and support provided to women by the State was not limited to providing them with the necessary skills and moral protection, but women were also supported by all the measures taken to protect them psychologically and physically through the enactment of necessary laws and legislations for both citizens or an expatriates. The personal status law was enacted in 2005to protect the personal and legitimate rights of women, thus preserving their rights and the rights of their children.

– Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak sponsors and bears the expenses of higher education for hundreds of UAE and Arab female students studying a diversified range of topics, within the framework of her approach to the development of women, on both local and nationalism levels. – Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak plays a pioneering and leading role in the field of women’s civil and legal rights which cannot be overlooked. She plays this role through the special

 interest Her Highness has taken in personal status law until legislations are issued. As a result of Her Highness’ efforts, and the enthusiasm of UAE women, the 2007 UNDP report praised the Millennium Development Goals and the positive outcome of UAE’s policies aiming at achieving specific objectives in a number of areas, including the empowerment of women, and the legislations to protect women from sexual and qualitative discrimination in education, employment and essential services.

The report also indicated that, in addition to economic growth, women in the UAE have actively participated in the social sphere. According to the Human Development Index for the year 2007/2008 issued by the United Nations Development, UAE women ranked 43rd among 177 countries and 29th on the international level in the field of women’s empowerment. UAE women ranked first on the Gulf and Arab levels.

– In the field of combating violence against women, Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak played an important role in enacting the necessary legislation. Her Highness also donated a piece of land needed to build a shelter for women victims of do

mestic violence or human trafficking regardless of the nationality or the race of the victim. – As a result of the local, regional and international efforts of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, in the fields of Women, charitable, cultural and humanitarian work, Her Highness received great recognition and appreciation represented in numerous local, Arab and international awards.

Her Highness received forty prestigious awards, medals, and certificates of appreciation in honor of her efforts and outstanding contributions in the public sphere.

Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak was honored by six United Nations organizations in recognition of her efforts in supporting women’s issues, as well as literacy, maternal and child care, and care for those with special needs, the elderly and orphans in 1997.

In 1999 she was awarded the Marie Curie Medal by the United Nations Educational, Science and Culture Organization “UNESCO” for Her Highness’s efforts in the fields of culture and humanity. In March 2000, Her Highness launched the initiative to establish a fund for refugee women and in April 4, 2001, she received a shield written in gold from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR.

This award is given to distinguished persons in the field of refugee relief. In April 2005, she was awarded the title(Um Al-Emarat “Mother of the Emirates”). In May of the same year, Her Highness was also awarded for humanitarian and cultural work by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi. In December of the same year, she received the volunteering award from His Highness.

Her Highness also received numerous local awards in gratitude from the people of the UAE. In April 2007, Her Highness attended a ceremony honoring her work hosted by the United Nations. The World Heart Group, which includes about 300 doctors and surgeons from around the world, awarded Her Highness the Global Humanitarian Personality Award in recognition of her efforts and commitment to alleviate the suffering of the sick.

In addition to the international appreciation of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, and her pioneering and instrumental role in the public life of women and society at various local, regional and international levels, Her Highness played a clear and influential role that impacted changes that took place in the lives of Arab women in all aspects, particularly through her support and patronage, and her chairmanship of the Arab Women Organization in Cairo for three years until 2009. This role is part of Her Highness’s activity on an international level, as Her Highness sponsored and supported many educational, humanitarian and charity projects around the world encompassing Asia, Africa and other continents.This activism has further strengthened her local and regional status and endowed her with a role and status on an international level; indeed it ensured that her name shines in contemporary history as an exceptional woman who has vowed to spend her life serving all of humanity. For all this and for all the achievements in the fields of civilization and humanity, which are viewed as developmental and cultural achievements by the Board, The Board o

f Trustees of Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation grants Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak the Cultural and Scientific Achievement Award of the Eleventh Session 2008-2009. Board of Trustees Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation Written in Dubai, on Wednesday, Muharram 6, 1431 Hijria, corresponding to: December 23, 2009.