True meaning of empowerment: paper

ABU DHABI, 26th October, 2016 (WAM) — A UAE newspaper has said that women’s empowerment is an inclusive process that should benefit women at all socioeconomic levels and on all career paths. Women should be supported in all fields, from farms to the boardroom, and everything in between.

“Tamkeen, also known as the Young Arab Women Scientists Leadership programme, is a positive example of an initiative that is playing an active role in achieving that goal,” said The National in an editorial on Wednesday.

As the paper reported yesterday, “The development programme focuses on supporting female agriculture students to overcome gender-specific challenges and develop their skills. The six-month programme will give women from countries across the region, including the UAE, Oman, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco, the opportunity to network and exchange ideas, to grow from farmers or field workers to become researchers, scientists and policymakers.

“These initiatives are very important for several reasons. First, the programme focuses on women who choose fields that are not very popular and support them in the early stages of their careers. Second, it offers support to women in the rural labour force in countries in this region where agriculture is central to national economies, which will help them contribute in the process of strengthening regional food security.

“Increasing the number of women in decision-making positions is important to narrowing the gender gap, as discussed during the 18th Global Women in Leadership Economic Forum this week. It enhances the diversity of insights and opinions and improves the overall management process. But real empowerment is only achieved when all women are encouraged, even in lower-level positions, to contribute to the development of themselves and their career fields and not feel less valued than those who are seen to be on top of the career ladder.

“If gender equality means anything at all, it means that both men and women have an equal opportunity to choose a career they like and follow their own dreams,” concluded the Abu Dhabi-based daily.