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AUS marks International Women’s Day through a series of celebrations
AUS president addresses university and business community on role of women for a sustainable tomorrow
In her message to the American University of Sharjah (AUS) community on International Women’s Day on March 8, Her Excellency Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, President of AUS, emphasized the importance of celebrating the invaluable contributions of women to their communities.
“Empowering women means empowering societies and nations and opening doors of possibility for communities to reach new heights. Today, we celebrate your strength, resilience and determination to keep moving forward despite the challenges and obstacles.” said Sheikha Bodour.
Her Excellency also took part via video today in the AUS School of Business Administration’s (SBA) first Women in Business event on “Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Women in Business for a Sustainable Tomorrow,” which is one of a series of events AUS is holding in celebration of International Women’s Day under the theme “Embrace Equality.”
The SBA event also saw the participation of Her Excellency Hind bint Majid Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC) as keynote speaker, and the organization of two panels to discuss “The Role of Women in Ensuring a Sustainable Future” and “Young Women in Business: Challenges and Opportunities.”
The College of Engineering (CEN) also held a celebratory gathering for its students, faculty and staff and reflected on its efforts in the past year to encourage women and girls to join science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). As part of the event, CEN alumni spoke about their experience working in engineering and technology.
“Our work is reflective of our mission to ensure the full participation of women and girls in the new opportunities digital technology is creating around the world. As we mark International Women’s Day in CEN, we are also mindful that the UN is focused this year on achieving equality and empowerment for women and girls in innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age, which closely ties with our work as we contribute to the UAE’s efforts to further advance gender equality in the technological space and realize its innovation agenda. Last year alone, we established the Women in Engineering Committee to act as an inspirational and advising body on issues related to women and engineering, and designed a dedicated web page highlighting the achievements of our female faculty and students to be an inspiration and a guide for future and current students. Looking at our student population in CEN, we are proud to say that the percentage of female students is above the world average with 37 percent of students at the undergraduate level and 47 percent at the graduate level being women. We also launched CEN’s Hall of Fame last year to recognize alumni achievements, many of whom are women currently holding senior executive and ministerial positions. We are also mindful of the importance of working with young girls to inspire them to enter the field, which we have been doing with our initiative Discover Engineering, which comprises boot camps and competitions for school students,” said Dr. Fadi Aloul, Dean of CEN.
Organized by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and the Association of Women Engineers (AWE) student chapters at AUS and supported by the Office of Student Affairs, this year’s celebrations also included a mini hackathon open to all AUS engineering students and a panel discussion with four accomplished women engineers. Students were invited to propose ways to enhance the enrollment of more women in STEM majors with an opportunity to pitch their ideas to the expert women panel.
As part of its continued efforts to promote an understanding of women’s achievements, contributions and experiences in their historical and social contexts, the Minor in Women’s Studies at the AUS College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) continues to attract students from all majors, offering them opportunities to critically analyze theoretical frameworks related to women but within multicultural and multidisciplinary contexts.
“Women have always played a critical role in advancing education in the arts and sciences. Their contributions have enriched our understanding of the world and shaped the way we approach learning. We must continue to support and empower women in this field, so that they may continue to lead the way in creating a more inclusive, diverse and dynamic educational landscape. The Minor in Women’s Studies aims to empower students to investigate the cultural, social and political contexts that shape our world today. In an increasingly complex world, we need to provide our students with a robust, well-rounded learning experience and the skills to excel in their career paths and broaden their horizons. Our world needs critical thinkers, innovators and creative problem solvers to lead and shape our future, and we make sure that our students are ready to face the real world upon their graduation,” said Dr. Mahmoud Anabtawi, Dean of CAS.