Under the patronage of 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), the Khawla bint Al Azwar Military School celebrated the graduation of 134 female students from seven Arab countries.
The students completed a three-month training course launched for the first time in the UAE by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, UN Women, in partnership with the Ministry of Defence and the GWU, to enable Arab women to take part in security and peacekeeping operations.
The graduation ceremony was attended by Major General Abdullah Al Hashemi, Assistant Under-Secretary for Support Services at the Ministry of Defence, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director and UN Under-Secretary-General, and Dr. Moza Al Shehhi, Executive Director of the UN Women's Office in Abu Dhabi, along with representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, foreign ambassadors to the UAE, foreign delegations, and members of UN Women.
The ceremony began with a recital of the Quran, followed by a speech by Colonel Afraa Al Afassi, School Commander, lauding the participants of the course, which was launched due to the efforts of Sheikha Fatima to support women, especially Arab women, while noting that the school is honoured to host the course and its participants, who come from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Yemen, Sudan and the UAE.
In her speech, Mlambo-Ngcuka stated that the course aims to increase the participation of Arab women in military peacekeeping operations while noting that it has trained over 100 Arab women from seven countries.
Noura Al Suwaidi, Director of the GWU, highlighted the course’s success, which is due to the support of the UAE’s leadership to women and their empowerment.
"This is a memorable moment for everyone, especially for the course’s participants, after their hard work and persistence," Al Shehhi said.
UN Women thanks the UAE’s leadership and its strategic partners for ensuring the course’s success, she added.