HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak is Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and known as the ‘Mother of the Nation’.
HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Al Ketbi is the wife of the late UAE founder, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who prioritised gender equality.
She is seen as the pioneer of women’s work in the UAE and a huge supporter of women’s rights and advancement.
Since the 1960s, HH Sheikha Fatima has encouraged women to receive an education and to join the workforce.
She established the first women’s association in 1973, then the General Women’s Union in 1975, the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood in 2003 and the Family Development Foundation in 2006.
She chairs all three and is also the Honorary President of the Emirates Red Crescent.
HH Sheikha Fatima was born in the Al Hayer area of Al Ain City, to a Bedouin family.
She is mother to six sons and two daughters:
- HH General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, her first son
- HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, The Ruler’s Representative in the Al Dhafrah region of Abu Dhabi Emirate
- HH Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Ruler of Abu Dhabi
- HH Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Ruler of Abu Dhabi and National Security Advisor
- HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Court
- HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the UAE
- HH Sheikha Shamma bint Zayed Al Nahyan
- HH Sheikha Al-Yaziya bint Zayed Al Nahyan
In 2017 she was honoured by UN Women, a global champion for gender equality, for for her efforts in the UAE to promote female equality and empowerment.
She has also been given the titles ‘Mother of Sheikhs’ and Mother of the Arabs’.
Here are 23 quotes celebrating the Mother of the Nation on Emirati Women’s Day.
Stories about Emirati women
- Six Emirati women in science: Cybersecurity specialist Dr Hoda Alkhzaimi, HE Sarah Al Amiri, chair of the UAE Space Agency, Salma Al Hajeri, one of the first women to graduate from Abu Dhabi’s Petroleum Institute, Aisha Al Mansoori, the first female Emirati captain in a commercial airline, aspiring scientist Alia Al Mansoori, and Nora Al Matrooshi, the first Arab woman astronaut
- Emirati women leaders: how they did it: Fahima Al Bastaki, Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX)’s chief business and market development officer; Dr Noura Al Dhaheri, head of the Digital Cluster at Abu Dhabi Ports and CEO of Maqta Gateway; Fatma Al Jabri, assistant governor of financial crime, market conduct regulation and consumer protection for the Central Bank of the UAE: Dena Almansoori, group CHRO of Etisalat and founder/ CEO of WhiteBox HR; Fatema Al Nuaimi, CEO of ADNOC LNG: HE Maryam Alsuwaidi, chief executive officer of Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (ESCA).
- Be seated: 10 UAE women board directors to know: Hind Al Ali; Raja Almazrouei; Fatima Abdulla Al Fahim; HE Aarefa Al Falahi; HE Dr Raja Al Gurg; Elham Al Qasim; Maha AlQattan; Mariam Balfaqeh; HE Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr; Dr Moza Sweidan