ABU DHABI, 6th August, 2017 (WAM) -- H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, the widow of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, today hailed the decision of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to declare 2018 as the "Year of Zayed".
In a statement on the occasion, the Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and the President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, described the decision as one of the greatest gestures by the country's people and leadership to honour her late husband, "Who led his country and his people towards progress and prosperity, paving the way for his successors to achieve their hopes and aspirations."
Sheikha Fatima also expressed her appreciation for the directives issued by Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to begin work on a comprehensive framework to activate the programmes to achieve the goals of the year.
She said that Sheikh Zayed had "Created a miracle in the land of the UAE through his dedication and sincere efforts in building the country and establishing the values of happiness for his people," an experience which, she said, sets an example to be followed and an achievement that requires much will and determination.
Sheikha Fatima went on to reiterate the late Sheikh Zayed's role in empowering Emirati women, saying, "Zayed made their dreams come true by empowering them in all areas of education, providing them with comprehensive health care, social integration, and making available work opportunities through which they have achieved success."
"We are always proud and grateful, and honour the late Sheikh Zayed for fulfilling the dreams of women in the UAE," she added.
She said that the country's wise leadership has followed in Zayed's footsteps in empowering women, one example being the recent adoption of the National Strategy for Motherhood and Childhood and the strategic plan for boosting the rights and development of children with disabilities 2017-2021.
She concluded her statement by calling on UAE women to take part in galvanising the Year of Zayed by participating in its activities.
The President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, announced the decision on Saturday for the anniversary of the late Sheikh Zayed's Accession Day - the day he assumed leadership in Abu Dhabi on 6th August 1966 - which marked the start of a new epoch in the history of the UAE.