Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairperson of the UAE General Women’s Union (GWU) and of the Family Development Foundation (FDF), received Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani school pupil and education activist, at Al Bahr Palace on Tuesday.
Following the attack by Taleban on the schoolgirl and rights activist in 2012, General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, dispatched a medical team to evaluate and facilitate her transfer to the United Kingdom for lifesaving medical treatment.
During the meeting, Shaikha Fatima underscored the importance of education to empower woman towards a better future in consistence with the tolerant Islamic teachings away from extremism, fanaticism and introversion which affect Islamic communities, pointing out that woman needs more support and assistance to realise what she aspires for being half of the society and man’s partner in work and effort for building a coherent, stable family serving as a backbone and strength of the homeland.
On her part, the Pakistani schoolgirl paid gratitude to General Shaikh Mohammed for standing by her during her ordeal, noting that his support for her medical treatment has given her a new lease of life.
Malala expressed her extreme delight at meeting with Shaikha Fatima, whom she praised as a role model for empowerment of women not only in the UAE but also in Arab and Muslim countries and the world at large.
The meeting was attended by Shaikha Shamsa bin Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, wife of Shaikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region, Shaikha Al Yaziya bint Zayed Al Nahyan, Dr Maytha bint Salem Al Shamsi, Minister of State, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State, and a number of leaders of women’s movements in the UAE.
Malala said she was impressed with the achievements of Emirati women under the guidance and leadership of Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairperson of the UAE General Women’s Union (GWU) and of the Family Development Foundation (FDF).
Malala applauded the GWU’s vital role in serving and empowering Emirati women.
The Pakistani education campaigner made her remarks during a visit to the GWU’s premises on Wednesday, where she was welcomed by Noura Al Suwaidi, GWU Director, who took her on a tour of various facilities of the GWU including the Jewel Hall where she viewed local, regional and international awards and honours Shaikha Fatima received in recognition of her support and empowerment of women.
Al Suwaidi informed Malala about the GWU’s vision, mission and achievements.