NAMA, UN Development Programme join hands to expand women’s economic opportunities


SHARJAH: Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and Chairperson of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment (NAMA), has witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between NAMA and the United Nations Development Programme.

The document forms the basis of a mutual agreement to concentrate efforts to expand women’s economic opportunities and promote their inclusion and participation in the job market, with special attention paid to women who have pressing family responsibilities. The MoU was signed by Ameera BinKaram, Deputy Chairperson of NAMA and Chairperson of the Sharjah Business Women Council and Mr. Frode Mooring, UNDP Resident Representative in the UAE, in the presence of UNDP Administrator, Helen Clark, on the sidelines of the International Government Communication Forum, which got underway in Sharjah yesterday (Sunday).

Highlighting the importance of the MoU between NAMA and UNDP, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi said, “We put the advancement of women’s role in economic, social and professional walks of life at the top of our agenda. Our main goal is to go beyond the scope of supporting and empowering women to a more focused intent for women to become influential key members of society who participate in all sectors.”

She added “The signing of this MoU with the United Nations Development Programme aims to increase our ability to reach broader categories of women, not only on the local level, but also across the region. It represents support from one of the most important subsidiary bodies of the world’s largest UN organisation and has been made possible thanks to our wise leadership’s tireless efforts to help advance our cause.” Sheikha Jawaher continued “All credit should go to H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation, and Head of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, Mother of the Nation, for the substantial support she gives to women and her continuous drive to elevate their status in society.”

Frode Mooring, UNDP Resident Representative in the UAE, said the signing of this MoU falls within the UNDP’s interest in supporting women and developing their abilities and potential. He added: “We are fortunate to collaborate today with an organization that shares our global commitment and belief that nations can only move forward when all their citizens have an equal opportunity to succeed,” he continued “Research and experience have shown that empowering women is among the most effective ways of improving a nation’s wellbeing, and Emirati women are actively playing their part in the continuing advancement of the UAE.”

The MoU between NAMA and UNDP stipulates that both parties will collaborate in encouraging the passing of policies and legislation necessary to elevate women and to pursue programmes that support gender integration in all sectors. UNDP will provide technical support for initiatives, programmes and projects implemented by NAMA. The collaboration will include activities at both the national and regional level that can be measured and tracked to advance women’s rights, with a priority given to initiatives that are geared towards women who are the sole bread winners for their families. NAMA was launched by Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, who is also the royal patron of the Sharjah Business Women Council, in December 2015, following a decree by the Ruler of Sharjah and with the grace of Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak bint Mubarak.

Through its initiatives and subsidiaries, NAMA is dedicated to activating and elevating women’s role and enhancing their opportunities in the economic, professional and social sectors. In doing so, it is mandated to launch, manage and supervise programmes to develop women in the country, the region and internationally. To achieve its goals, NAMA forges collaboration and partnership agreements with competent local, regional and international bodies. UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crises, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in more than 170 countries and territories, UNDP offers global perspectives and local insights to help empower lives and build resilient nations.