07 December 2021

Panel discussion highlights frameworks to combat violence and abuse

(WAM) – Senior officials responsible for development and implementation of the social sector’s agenda in the UAE, as well as thought leaders, came together to discuss frameworks to combat violence and abuse at a panel discussion, titled “Social Work: Inclusiveness and Integration of Roles to Empower Women”.

Held at Expo 2020 Dubai, the event was organised by the Abu Dhabi Centre for Sheltering and Humanitarian Care (Ewaa), an affiliate of the Department of Community Development (DCD) in Abu Dhabi, in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF).

Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, highlighted efforts to improve the quality of women’s lives. She added that the issue featured prominently in the vision and initiatives of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Founding Father of the UAE, who said, “My wealth is the happiness of my people”.

Buhumaid pointed out that the leadership and the government of the UAE followed his vision and principle, prioritising happiness and quality of life in the country’s developmental framework. She also shed light on the value and impact of the National Strategy for Wellbeing 2031.

The minister stressed the importance of the directives of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union (GWU), President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF), and the ‘Mother of the Nation’ to support and empower women through mechanisms that protect them according to an integrated policy.

She also noted that the UAE Gender Balance Council, which is chaired by H.H. Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Women Establishment, and wife of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, plays a vital role in enhancing the protection for women’s rights and ambitions.

Buhumaid said, “Women in the UAE enjoy full support of the leadership, and there are many programmes and initiatives that champion the role of women in society by enhancing protection and empowerment of families, such as the UAE National Family Policy, Family Protection Policy, and “Ta’alouf” initiative for free family counselling, in addition to home and micro-enterprises such as Al-Sana’a Project for Emirati Productive Families, which attracts more than 2,860 Emirati families. Emirati women run more than 93 percent of these projects.”

She underscored the federal government’s plans to enhance social protection and reduce cases of violence and abuse. She also discussed the family protection policy, which aims to build a solid social system protecting family members and preserving their rights.

Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of DCD, emphasised the efforts of Abu Dhabi’s social sector by supporting the role and contribution of women in society. He noted that women and families constitute the social, cultural, and economic pillar of society, and safeguarding women leads to preservation of society.

Dr. Al Khaili also discussed the framework to rehabilitate victims of violence and abuse in Abu Dhabi. He highlighted the efforts to develop a framework for victims of violence and abuse in 2020 for different beneficiary segments, such as women, children, the elderly, and people of determination, in addition to victims of abuse related to social services, financial and health services, and legal and educational services.

Sarah Shuhail, Director-General of Ewaa, suggested that sharper focus be put on prevention, and collection of data that can provide a proper direction to offering social services to victims.

Shuhail said, “Thanks to the efforts of our wise leadership and the noble values that we derived from the Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and our regional and international position in the humanitarian action, the UAE’s government ecosystem continues to preserve its humanitarian position in collaboration with its stakeholders, and we renew our commitment to advancing these great values.”