In some countries, this day is an official holiday and a day off work, in others — just a good reason to congratulate women, as it is in the UAE.
Women’s Day first appeared in 1909 thanks to the Socialist Party of America. It was celebrated until 1913 on the last Sunday of February. Afterward, the day was celebrated in many countries but on different dates — March 19, May 2, March 2. The date of March 8 appeared only in 1914. For many years the Women’s Day was celebrated mainly in socialist countries. But in 1975 the UN invited states to announce the day of the struggle for the rights of women. So March 8 became International Women’s Day.
It is believed that in Middle Eastern countries women have no rights. Although this statement might have been reasonable in the past, nowadays, it is quite a large misconception – and UAE is the proof! Since its founding on December 2, 1971, the country always paid a lot of attention to the empowerment of women. In the UAE women can occupy leadership roles in private sectors and the government. In this country, you can meet women in professional positions — doctors, engineers, judges, scientists, even soldiers, and fighter pilots. According to statistics, around 70% of university students over the past five years have been female. They represent 56% of graduates in engineering, IT, and mathematics. And according to the global ranking in terms of the number of places occupied by women in higher education, the UAE is in first place among all countries of the world. Even the famous Hope Probe, a project which had successfully delivered the first UAE satellite to the orbit of Mars, had been led by Sarah Amiri, an Emirati chairwoman, with an 80% female science team.
In the UAE, both officials and ordinary people join the congratulations of women. For example, on March 8, 2018, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai wrote on Twitter:
«March 8 is a wonderful and beautiful day for all the women of the world».
And His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said:
«Women’s Day is a global occasion to reaffirm the special status of women in our homeland».
Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, and Dr. Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs also joined the congratulations.
This day is a great time to congratulate mothers, wives, and daughters. In the UAE you can always find a great selection of gift shops to buy presents, or venues to have a great time on this day. But don’t forget your female friends, colleagues, and relatives on other days of the year!