On August 28th, the UAE celebrate its 3rd Emirati Women’s Day. HH Sheikha Fatima picked the 28th to celebrate the inauguration of the General Women’s Union on that day in 1975. While you don’t really need to give me a reason to celebrate women, it was a nice little reminder of how far women in this country have truly come.

Sheikh Zayed himself pioneered women’s rights in the country making sure that Emirati girls were as educated and enabled as the boys, as he said “The woman is half of the society; any country which pursues development should not leave her in poverty or illiteracy.” As I go around hearing about new initiatives and pushes to get Emirati women into the thick of things, I can’t help but be filled with a growing sense of optimism…and a desire to loudly start chanting ‘girl power’ at my desk.

Emirati women are taking on more managerial roles, positions in government, and even becoming parliamentary and legislative representatives. As a working woman myself, it’s brilliant to see women climb hierarchies and establish themselves in the professional world. We make up half of the population, and we deserve that to be reflected in all of our institutions.

So while I may not be Emirati myself, I’ll be standing there handing out hammers, as the Emirati women around me climb to break that glass ceiling.

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