Article in brief: The author looks at how Emirati women are being blamed for failed marriages when efforts should be made on finding ways to adapt to the changing needs of society.
Why are Emirati women to blame for the increasing number of divorces in the UAE? It is alarming to see that every newspaper I pick up these days talks about how the changing social status of women is what’s causing marriages to fail. Does this mean that Emirati women can only manage one role in their life? That they can’t handle both a career and a family? I agree that a women’s role is pivotal in the family, but I also believe that she can have her own set of goals, and shouldn’t be afraid to go after them.
Women these days may not be satisfied just staying at home, but this does not mean it has to be a bad thing. A working woman contributes so much more to the family, not only financially, but also as the model that she creates for her family and her children. A woman’s role does not have to be limited to the family.
With International Women’s Day almost upon us, it is only fitting that we highlight how far Emirati women have come. During this year’s Government Summit, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, launched the “UAE Gender Balance Council”. This initiative aims to remove the barriers between the genders, encourage equality, and enable women to be key partners in building the future of this nation.
UAE is a nation known for being in the forefront of everything and its women are no different. The late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan (may his soul rest in peace) was a strong advocate for women’s rights, even in the days when it was unheard of for women to be involved in matters outside the house. In fact, he firmly believed that not only should women be encouraged to step beyond those boundaries, but also that the men should be encouraging and accepting of these new roles for them. This great leader had a vision for the Emirati women, and they have not let him down.
Emirati women are dominating the local universities and are among the most ambitious in the workforce. They have the drive to succeed and stay ahead in this fast paced nation. The social status of women has definitely changed and society needs to keep up with this and play a more supportive role. There are many Emirati men who got on board with this new dynamic and appreciated the involvement of women in other arenas.
There are still countless others who may not support the evolving role of women, but it is important for society to embrace this reality and educate its people. The constant reporting of women being to blame for divorces needs to stop, so that we can look into understanding these changes and finding ways around it. Women may have other wants beside a family life, and there are definitely ways that this can be achieved in harmony, so why not focus on that instead?
Women, all over the world, have come a long way in standing up for their rights, and Emirati women need to be given theirs as well. They are capable of rising and being pioneers in new fields, all the while taking care of their families. In the UAE, family is an integral part of the culture, and the women continue to value that, in unison with their ambitions. This is something that needs to be realized for society to move forward. Women need to be accepted for their growing ambitions, and others need to adapt to this change, for the Emirati society to flourish.
- The Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (2013). “The Late Sheikh Zayed and Women’s Rights”. Retrieved 14 February 2015. http://www.ecssr.ac.ae/
- UAE Interact (2015). “Mohammed Bin Rashid Forms The ‘UAE Gender Balance Council’”. Retrieved 20 February 2015. http://www.uaeinteract.com
Bahar is a recruiter by profession, an aspiring writer by night, and a mom of toddler twins. She has an unending thirst for learning, as she completed her BComm in Canada, an MA in Dubai, and continues to develop herself with reading and research.
With her column, she shares her journey as she grows and learns more about this crazy beautiful world we live in.