March 24 & 25, 2019 Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
SPEECH TO BESTOW HER ROYAL HIGHNESS, Me’ SHEIKHA FATIMA BINT MUBARAK AS AN HONORARY MEMBER OF THE IAWP by The Second Vice – President of the IAWP, Lieutenant General (Dr) Leah Mofomme – South Africa
Her Royal Highness, Me’ Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak;
Senior Officials from the General Women’s Union;
The Executive Director of the IAWP, Me’ Jane Townsley;
The Head of Women Police Department, Major (Dr) Aamna AL Belooshi;
Ladies and Gentlemen.
I bring you salutations from the President of the IAWP, Me’ Deborah Freidl who is not able to join us today due to family responsibilities. The president sends her appreciation and greetings to Her Royal Highness and this esteemed gathering.
The International Association of Women Police provides a platform for women in law enforcement to network with their peers, share work challenges and best practices. We are committed to fully embracing law enforcement as a career for women. We are advocating for women to be recognised in this previously male dominated profession, not just as numbers or an inferior group, but as equal and fully capable law enforcers. I come from a Continent where our grandmothers were not allowed to go to school as they were nurtured to become good wives and mothers. My mother could only go to school up to 6th Grade because her father did not want to waste money on a girl child who would soon be married and leave the family to become a house wife. However, all her brothers are highly educated and occupy very high positions in society. This is not just an African concept or history; all over the world, suppression of women occurs in one way or the other. We all know of 21-year-old Malala from Pakistan, who was shot at for her advocacy for human rights, especially education of women and children in her Community. Even in far developed and 1st World Countries, we still find that women are suppressed or are in the minority, especially in previously male dominated professions such as the Police Service. Most countries are advanced in terms of their economy, technology and other areas defined as development, but they still confine women to “soft or good for women” jobs, such as child and family protection units, support services, etc.
Although our countries are different, women in law enforcement have similar experiences in this unique and challenging profession. Just last week, we were in Ecuador where we shared experiences and knowledge about the evolution of women in various police agencies. We noted similar trends and patterns, we can conclude that women have similar experiences that are influenced by the roles that society has woven for women.
I believe that women who are in the various law enforcement agencies all over the world have a role of building bridges for others and future generations. There is power in us working together for a common cause. It cannot be that while women are the majority in the world, we are the minority in the workplace.
We have a responsibility to bring our vision into action; ensuring that women’s lives are free from discrimination, that women are valued for their contributions in the workplace and in the Community and that they are treated with respect and dignity.
As the IAWP, we are committed to raise the profile of women who are in the criminal justice, internationally and to building a professional Police Career which is representative of all of humanity.
It is for this reason that the IAWP resolved, at an Early Board Meeting in 2017, to honour Her Royal Highness, Me’ Fatima, the Mother of the UAE Nation, with the honorary membership of the IAWP.
I am deeply humbled and honoured to, on behalf of the President of the International Association of Women Police, bestow the honorary membership of this esteemed international organisation, to the Mother of the UAE Nation. For us, it is a privilege and a priceless esteem for Her Royal Highness to even accept this membership from us.
The IAWP Honorary membership is awarded to any individual to honor them for their actions that support the vision, mission and goals of the IAWP.
We have noted with admiration Her Royal Highness’ efforts and continuous to support the course of women both within the Region and at an International Level and Her commitment to the education of women and promotion of women rights. Indeed, women rights are human rights. Many Governments make the mistake of preaching human rights but still excluding women from their development strategies. For more than four decades, Her royal Highness has worked tirelessly to promote the advancement and development of women. We, as the IAWP, want to draw from your strength and deep commitment to press forward and change the lives of many women in the current and future lifetimes.
Programme Director, allow me the honor to hand over this shield and certificate to Her Royal Highness as the IAWP’s symbol of honorary membership.