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‘Gender equality begins at home’
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DUBAI: A lady and two gentlemen who have climbed the ladder of success in the medical devices and diagnostics industry said gender inequality and the socio-economic-political malaise equated with women would only be resolved when prejudices were doomed, both men and women recognise one another’s potential, and if the right choices were decided upon objectively.

Moreover, Philips Middle East & Turkey Ozlem Duzen Fidanci, Medtronic-Middle East/Africa/Central Asia/Turkey vice president and managing director Majid Kaddoumi, and Medical Technology Association Middle East & North Africa (Mecomed-Mena) chairman/LivaNova-Market Access International Markets vice president Rami Rajab said all these originate and are ingrained in the home and within family circles.

They were all grateful to their ever-supporting spouses.

Fidanci said, “Do not let your emotions come in when choosing for a life partner. Teach your partner (how to be your helpmate at home) because you also have your own career.”

All expressed their views at the Mecomed-Mena “International Women’s Day Breakfast (Celebrating Women Working in Medical Technology & Health Sciences) on Thursday in Dubai.

Minister of State for Advanced Sciences Sarah Bint Yousif Al Amiri keynoted, “The participation of women in sciences at all levels—in our universities, hospitals and laboratories—working together with their male colleagues has the power to transform nations, build stronger economies and forge healthier, happier societies.”

The UAE Council of Scientists chairperson said education plays a major role. She also pointed out that all will come into place depending on oneself.

To illustrate, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre-Emirates Mars Mission deputy project manager then related her growing up years wherein among her strongest influencers was English Countess Ada Lovelace (1815-1852). Lovelace was the daughter of accomplished poet Lord Byron with his wife Lady Wentworth (Anne Isabella Milbanke), whose enthusiasm in mathematics and the sciences earned her a distinguished place in the History of Computer, having recognised “the full potential of the computing machine” and therefore the “World’s First Computer Programmer.”

On unleashing the potential, Al Amiri said, “We have to be positive role models. We have to see and work on the positive changes.” From the open forum and asked by The Gulf Today what he would tell an all-male audience so that the marginalisation of women since time immemorial ends, and in spite of God having created man and woman as equal, Kaddoumi said: “I would tell them to stop that bias that men have created because it is unfair. It is also unfair to men. We have to have that consciousness.”

From the discussions, Kaddoumi emphasised that the most important learning he had acquired through his adulthood and professional life is that over above everything else in this world, it is the family that is the most precious.

He has five daughters and one son—and a wife—who has successfully regained her own career—that she had lost 20 years back when she decided to step back, raise children and be the full-time wife and mother.

Implying that respect at home and between a husband and a wife glues families together, Kaddoumi saw the significance of his wife shine not only in their home but also in her own field of interest.   

“My wife is doing well and she is a role model to my children.”

Like Kaddoumi, Rajab travelled extensively around the world as their careers let them.

Sharing that he and the entire family changed homes nine times in the last 29 years due to his career requirements, Rajab, like Kaddoumi, praised his wife, “If I had not have her in my life, I would not have imagined how I would have done it. She has done so great things.”

Like Kaddoumi, Rajab admitted nothing beats quality family time.

Meanwhile, in another area of the healthcare industry, Dubai Health Authority (DHA)-Human Resources records revealed that of the 13,000 workforce, 64 per cent or 8,320 are women.

 “Forty-five per cent of the leadership roles are filled with women while 14 per cent are female doctors, 49 per cent of the nurses are women, and 18 per cent in the medical support are women.”

DHA-Board chairman and director general Humaid Al Qatami said: “Women in the UAE have become an example of determination and leadership. The UAE leadership has given the opportunity to Emirati women to fulfil their role in contributing to the development and prosperity of the UAE.”

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