ISTANBUL, 3rd November 2016 (WAM) – A United Arab Emirates delegation, headed by Dr. Maytha bint Salem Al Shamsi, Minister of State, attended the Ministerial Conference on the ‘Role of Women in the Development of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Member States’, which concluded today in the city of Istanbul.

The conference was held under the theme “The Status of Women in the OIC Member States in Light of the Current Challenges”.

The UAE delegation included Khalifa Shaheen Al Marrar, UAE Ambassador to Turkey and Dr. Khalid Ahmed Al Mulla, Minister Plenipotentiary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

In her speech before the conference, Dr. Maytha Al Shamsi conveyed greetings of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood.

She highlighted Sheikha Fatima’s role in the progress achieved by the UAE women and her keenness to see the UAE as an active player in support of the OIC activities.

Dr. Al Shamsi said Sheikha Fatima had always believed in the importance of empowering Arab and Muslim women through a new approach with a set of principles and values to build women’s capabilities and to enable them to address all challenges.

She also detailed UAE’s achievements in women empowerment, thanks to the vision and unlimited support of the country’s leadership, saying that women today occupy 66% of public sector jobs, one of the world’s highest rates, including 30% of the jobs that entail decision making and 60% of technical jobs in the fields of medicine, teaching, pharmacology and nursing.

Dr. Maytha Al Shamsi thanked the Turkish government for hosting the conference and the OIC for the efforts made to enhance role of the women in the countries of the region.

President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave a welcoming address affirming that his country will make best use of its chairmanship of the 13th Session of the Islamic Summit by giving due attention to the status of women in the OIC Member States, meanwhile requesting the enforcement of the resolutions taken concerning women and giving effect to them in reality.

President Erdogan commended the positive developments taking place with respect to the establishment of the OWC proposed by Turkey during the Istanbul Summit held in April 2016.

He called for conducting a sound evaluation of the status of women in the Member States and for providing opportunities for the participation of women in the development of the Member States.

On his part, the OIC Assistant Secretary General, Ambassador Hameed Opeloyeru, gave a statement emphasising the importance of preparing policies, strategies and programs, as well as enhancing the laws and legislations based on noble and tolerant Islamic laws that aim at improving the participation of women in the development process and empowering them to address the challenges they face.

Ms. Higiran Huseynova, Head of the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs, handed the chairmanship of the Session over to Ms. Fatma Betul, Minister of Family and Social Policy of the Republic of Turkey, who also gave a welcoming address.

WAM/bashir