DUBAI, 17th November, 2021 (WAM) — Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, affirmed that women deserve a greater opportunity to develop their full leadership and practices in any of the roles they aspire to occupy.Women must obtain a high-quality education, a rewarding career, a satisfying family life, and a prominent role in their public and private lives, he added.He also noted that men and women still have a lot of work and effort to build a world for women and men alike, a world which values competence and merit regardless of gender, a world that welcomes, protects, educates and empowers all women.This came during the opening of the international conference Tolerance and Inclusivity for the Women Empowerment organised by the Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence in cooperation with the UAE Gender Balance Council and the Women’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.The conference featured two sessions, where the first discussed the role of social norms in making gender gaps, the ways to instil the values of tolerance and coexistence. The speakers were British Baroness, Floyla Karen Eunice Benjamin, and Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross-Switzerland, while Benita Diop, Founder and President of the African Women’s Solidarity Foundation in Senegal, presented her experience in empowering women in Africa.The second session highlighted the importance of tolerance, coexistence, inclusivity and equality in supporting the most vulnerable groups to re-establish a stable society. Speaking in this session were Aya Bourouila, founder of Code on the Road-Greece, and artist Rada Akbar, a freelance photographer-Afghanistan and others.Opening the conference, Sheikh Nahyan said, It is a great pleasure to be with you to inaugurate this conference on Women’s Rights and Empowerment. I extend my warmest greetings to all of you. You have assembled in a country that is the regional leader in recognition of women’s rights and gender equality. It is my distinct honour and privilege to begin today by expressing thanks and gratitude to the champion of women’s rights and empowerment in the UAE, the Mother of the Nation, H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union (GWU), President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF). She is a major force for development and progress in our country. Her vision and her commitment to comprehensive and sustained development have enabled all of us to appreciate the role of women in our society, he added.Sheikh Nahyan also said that since the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan founded the union fifty years ago, the UAE leaders have encouraged and supported women’s full and equal participation in our society. His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, is intent on shaping a country that empowers women. He has always considered women’s advancement vital to the future of the UAE and has worked methodically to expand the role of women in the leadership of our nation, he added. Like everywhere in the world, achieving gender equality in the UAE remains a work in progress to which we are fully committed, Sheikh Nahyan said. Unfortunately, in some parts of the world, there has been little or insufficient change. There continue to be places where women still endure unequal treatment. This inequality takes many forms ranging from social, economic, legal, health, and representation at the risk of personal safety and life itself, he added. I fully endorse the purposes of this conference, especially its intent to build bridges connecting men and women throughout the world around issues of women’s rights and empowerment, he added.Sheikh Nahyan concluded his speech by saying, My hope is that your work, and the work of women and men of goodwill around the world, will lead to the renaming of future conferences. When that time comes, when women and men share equal opportunity, identical rights, equivalent compensation for comparable work, and the same guarantees of safety, education, and healthcare, I foresee worldwide conferences entitled simply Human Beings Development and Empowerment. Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Vice Chairwoman of the UAE Gender Balance Council, said, The Tolerance and Inclusivity Week is part of the UAE’s framework and a product of the global position it occupies in that field. The UAE presents to the world a unique model of tolerance, coexistence and convergence of cultures, based on the approach established by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and continued by the UAE’s wise leadership.