Emirati Women make up 70% of all university graduates in the UAE, is a comforting statistic that came up at the Second International Forum on Education and Mental Health (IFEMH) 2023 hosted by Ajman University.
IFEMH 2023, with the theme ‘Women in Research,’ was held from February 23-24 at the Sheikh Zayed Center for Conferences and Exhibitions at the AU campus.
The Forum served as a platform for academic staff, researchers, and other professionals to discuss various problems facing women and women's empowerment, including their enhanced participation in the academic and scientific research fields.
Dr. Karim Seghir, Chancellor of Ajman University, in his opening remarks highlighted the phenomenal progress UAE has achieved in empowering women. He pointed out that the literacy rate among women in the UAE is 96% and that the UAE had the highest number of women on Forbes' List of 100 Most Powerful Arab Businesswomen in 2020, with 23 Emirati women on the list.
“Ajman University shares the UAE’s commitment to women empowerment through education, employment, and lifelong learning. You will find women from all over the world leading the coursework and conversations in AU’s classrooms, career preparedness, community service programs, and co-curricular activities,” said Chancellor Seghir.
Dr. Nahla Al Qasimi, Dean of Student Services and Chairperson of Ajman University Women Empowerment Council (AUWEC) thanked AU and the wider community for their support to the cause of women’s empowerment.
Highlighting the importance of continued support to enhance the participation of women in scientific research and innovation, Dr. Nahla said, “Now, more than ever, we need innovative and inclusive solutions to tackle societal challenges, which can be turned into opportunities if we continue to support and encourage young women and girls to pursue careers in science and innovation.”
Dr. Mariam Matar, keynote speaker at the event and Founder and Chairperson of the UAE Genetic Diseases Association shared her experience of building up the association, conducting unparalleled research in genetic diseases, and getting global recognition for it, which was highly appreciated and supported by the UAE government.
The two-day conference dealt with issues such as women’s research in healthcare and educational opportunities for women, strategic leadership by women, and how to manage the transition to a new environment.
IFEMH 2023 proved to be a fertile ground for new ideas to emerge on how to further enhance the participation of women in science, research, and innovation.
The Conference concluded on a positive note, with several accomplishments of women researchers in the UAE being highlighted successfully and their achievements being noted as examples for future generations of young women.