Sarah Al Amiri Participates in the Fourth Space4Women Expert Meeting in Canada

01 November 2023

Her Excellency Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology and Chairperson of UAE Space Agency, participated in the fourth Space4Women Expert meeting held in Canada. Held in cooperation with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Canadian Space Agency, the meeting highlighted the importance of empowering women in space. It was attended by international space agencies, experts, and academics, who discussed efforts to enhance women’s participation in the space sector.

In her speech, Al Amiri said: “Today, women are making history in every field, paving the way for our younger generations to dream bigger and achieve more. As the space industry has endless possibilities, we aspire to continue empowering women to contribute to accelerating the development of space technologies and the space sector.”

Al Amiri noted: “Driven by a vision to enhance its global competitiveness, the UAE aims to ensure a gender balance and empower women on a national level.  The UAE is ranked as the leading country in gender parity in the Arab world, according to the World Economic Forum’s 2023 Global Gender Gap report. The UAE adopts a unique approach that relies on attracting the most suitable members in all state institutions based on merit, while ensuring that there is no gender bias in the recruitment process. This model enhances diversity and inclusion as a basis in the UAE’s institutional strategy and contributes to promoting gender equality around the world.”

Al Amiri added: “In the UAE, we empower women in all fields, not just in space. 50.7 percent of our employees at the UAE Space Agency are women. A giant leap forward for womankind, in 2021, the UAE announced the first female astronaut from the UAE, Nora Al Matrooshi. This announcement was a breakthrough for us and a reflection of the UAE’s focus on providing equal opportunities for women. On the other hand, at Strata Manufacturing, a local high-tech aircraft manufacturer based in the UAE, Emirati women represent 86% of its national workforce.”

Her Excellency Sarah Al Amiri held several meetings, namely with Aarti Holla-Maini, Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, to discuss coordination of the Office’s effective participation in the next edition of the Abu Dhabi Space Debate and the prospects of bilateral cooperation, as well as enhance the long-term sustainability of outer space.

Her Excellency Sarah Al Amiri also held a meeting with Lisa Campbell, President of the Canadian Space Agency, to discuss cooperation in remote sensing, space data collection, and joint solutions for applications and processing of satellite data. The UAE Space Agency also extended an official invitation to the Canadian Space Agency to attend both the Dubai Airshow and COP28. The meeting also aimed to create a major strategy through working sessions to create a more gender-balanced space sector. It also included side events, under the supervision of the Canadian Space Agency, for those wishing to present their work on gender equality in the space sector, including STEM fields. On the sidelines of the meetings, plenary sessions were held around presenting successful examples of women’s empowerment through technology and space and the lessons learned from these two sectors.

Space4Women is a project of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), bringing together more than 200 women to inspire and guide them to achieve their ambitions in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), and space.