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Women’s empowerment pillar of development in Sultanate


Muscat: The Sultanate will mark the 11th anniversary of Omani Women’s Day on October 17. The event celebrates the prominent status accorded to women during the blessed renaissance. It celebrates the welfare programmes of women which ensured their improvement of status, and their participation alongside men in nation building.

A number of women gave statements on the significance of Oman Women’s Day, which came as one of the fruitful outcomes of the symposium on Omani women, held at Saih Al Makarim, Suhar, in 2009.

Wadha bint Salim al Alawiyah, Director of Women’s Affairs at the Ministry of Social Development, said, “Nations move forward through the contribution of individuals. Development without discrimination of women constitutes a basic pillar of progress. Their role is undeniably to contribute to various social, economic and cultural aspects.”

Wadha pointed out that the Royal attention accorded to women by the late Sultan Qaboos bin Said in all health, scholarly and occupational fields, among many, culminated into this noble Royal gift—the designation of October 17 as Omani Women’s Day. “It is a recognition of the significant potential of women in promoting their own personality and their society. This approach has been enhanced with a set of laws that grant women their deserved rights to enable them to shoulder their responsibility in sustainable development,” she added.

Al Alawiyah noted that the Sultanate joined the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in 2005. She added that, with a view to documenting all rights that secure women’s social status, Oman followed up all procedures and developments in the Convention.

“The establishment of the Women’s Affairs department seeks to promote women in government and private sectors, and enable women to participate actively in the proper management of their family and social lives. The event celebrates these accomplishments,” Wadha said.

She also spoke about the government’s role in enabling women to join government institutions and private sector establishments or set up their own businesses. “Besides building leadership capacities, women in Oman have also been enabled to participate in decision making. They enjoy equal status as men in public participation and establishment of private/popular establishments, notably Omani women’s associations whose number grew to 65 covering all governorates and wilayats of the Sultanate. Women are also active participants in charity and professional associations,” Wadha said.

Asia bint Yaqoub Al Kindiyah, a visually challenged Arabic language teacher at Omar Ibn al Khattab Institute for the Blind, said that the celebration of Omani Women’s Day reflects women’s role in promoting social development.

Wafa bint Ali al Amriyah, Chairperson of Omani Women’s Association in Al Seeb, said, “The Almighty Allah has endowed Oman with women’s empowerment during late Sultan Qaboos bin Said’s blessed Renaissance, Women could act as partners with men across sectors that fits with nature, abilities and skills.

She pointed out that women shouldered this responsibility without sacrificing attention and care to their families, including the grooming of a generation that loves Oman and has the potential to continue the march of development.

Al Amriyah said the designation of October 17 as Omani Women’s Day crowns women’s accomplishments in the Sultanate. She added that women in the Sultanate have been able to lead many organisations and contribute to a variety of local, regional and international achievements.

“Therefore, this day assumes great significance for every Omani woman because it makes them feel recognised. It is an incentive to exert more efforts to work for the progress of their country. It renews women’s sense of responsibility towards their families and their society because the one who gave them confidence expects them to be responsible and worthy of realising what is expected of them.” Al Amriyah said the Omani women are fully aware of Oman Vision 2040, and the government’s endeavours to implement this strategy. “Women in Oman are keen to have enough legal and social awareness to protect their rights and ensure a balanced life. Women are expected to focus on religious aspects to lead a sound life based on principles of decent living. In this way, women can become a shield for the nation that secures the future of coming generations.”


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