MUSCAT : The Sultanate will celebrate on 17 October the 11th anniversary of Omani Women’s Day. The event embodies the prominent status accorded to women during the blessed renaissance. It celebrates the welfare of women in terms of services and programmes whose positive effect reflected on the situation of women and their participation alongside men in the nation building process.
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, Sohar, in 2009.
Wad’ha bint Salim Al Alawi, Director of Women’s Affairs at the Ministry of Social Development, said, “Nations advance through the roles of their individuals and, since development is an integral progress aimed at promoting the human component without discrimination among segments, women constitute a basic pillar of this human monument. Their role is undeniably to contribute to various social, economic, cultural and sovereign aspects. It is thus a clear indication of society’s progress.”
Wad’ha 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 17 October as Omani Women’s Day. “It is a means of recognizing 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 Alawi 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 introduced to the Convention.
Speaking about her department, Wad’ha said, “The establishment of the department seeks to promote women’s development at the government and private levels and enable women to participate actively in the proper management of their family and social lives. The event celebrates these accomplishments.”
The Director of Women’s Affairs at the Ministry of Social Development spoke about the Government’s lending support to women in the field of labour, enabling them 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 associations covering all governorates and wilayats of the Sultanate. Women are also active participants in charity and professional associations,” Wad’ha added.
In her turn, Asia bint Yaqoub Al Kindi, Arabic language teacher at Omar Ibn al Khattab Institute for the Blind, said that the celebration of Omani Women’s Day is an incarnation of women’s role in promoting social development.
Asia, being one of people suffering impaired vision, underlined the role of women leadership alongside men, a fact engrained in national memory over the ages.
Al Kindi pointed out that women have occupied their deserved position in society, women accolades and have had strong presence in the labour market. “They (women) received opportunities to express their views and portray their worth in different domains,” said Asia Al Kindi.
Wafa bint Ali Al A’amri, Chairperson of Omani Women’s Association in A’Seeb, said, “The Almighty Allah has endowed Oman during the reign of the late Sultan Qaboos Bin Said with a blessed Renaissance, with women’s empowerment and patronage of their rights being one of the main pillars so that women could act as partners with men in the field of work that fits with their nature, abilities and skills.
She pointed out that women shouldered this responsibility without prejudice to the attention they accord to their families, including the grooming of a generation that loves Oman and has the potential to continue the parade of fathers, forefathers and ancestors.
She explained that the designation of 17 October as Omani Women’s Day crowns women’s accomplishments. She added that women in the Sultanate have been able to lead many organizations 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 recognized. It is an incentive to exert more efforts and promote the banner 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 realizing what is expected of them,” Wafa added.
She reaffirmed that Omani women are fully aware of the national strategy, 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,” said Wafa.
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