Greetings and peace be upon you all

On the occasion of Omani Women’s Day, we are reminded of the immortal words of our late Sultan, His late Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, may God rest his soul in peace, who described the role of women in our nation’s development as follows:

“Our country, undoubtedly, needs both men and women in its blessed march forward, just like a bird that relies on its two wings to soar high in the sky. What would become of the bird if one of its wings is broken and powerless? Would it be able to fly?”

His Majesty, the late Sultan, put women on an equal footing with men, thus, affirming their equal importance. This notion of equality represents a natural progression in the role of women in our society. Throughout our history, Omani women served as jurists, scholars, diplomats and were activists in all fields.

We remember when schools first opened under the shade of trees; they were for everyone without exception. The presence of Omani women in the public sphere has been very prominent from the very beginning of Oman’s modern renaissance. Equally important, was their social role in bearing the responsibility of raising future generations and instilling in them the core values and ideas that reflect the character of our society and its valuable heritage.

The distinguished status attained by Omani women is derived from the tenets which are integral to our society and it has been further reinforced and enhanced by the enlightened thinking of His Majesty the late Sultan. In another memorable speech, he said:

“We would like to call upon Omani women to avail themselves of all the opportunities available to them to fulfil their potential and to demonstrate their ability to overcome whatever obstacles that may stand in their way. In doing so, they will not only pay tribute to themselves but to our society as a whole, and they will dispel some of the false notions that underestimate their status and undermine their lawful rights which are enshrined in our religion and protected by the Basic Statute of the State.”

Empowered by the trust and the conviction of the wise leadership in the importance of their role, Omani women have become active in all fields, contributing to the development of our society. Their past and present great achievements are abundantly clear, whether it’s in this institution of diplomacy or in other public and private institutions. Women now serve as ministers, undersecretaries, ambassadors, academics, writers, Police officers, medical doctors and parliamentarians. They are equally present, on all levels, in commerce and in other fields.

These accomplishments are a testament that our modern and renewed Omani renaissance provides equal opportunities for men and women in contributing to the country’s development and provides for an equal set of rights and duties to both.

October 17th, Omani Women’s Day, comes to us this year with good omen and with great motivation to continue the march of development and achievement towards new horizons.

On the 23rd of February of this year, His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik, declared in his Royal speech: “Citizens’ partnership in building the country’s present and future is a fundamental pillar of national action. We are keen that women enjoy their rights as guaranteed by law. We also hope that they will work side by side with men in different fields in serving their country and society. We reiterate our continuous patronage of these national fundamentals, which cannot be compromised.”

I am honoured to sponsor this auspicious event in the name of the Foreign Ministry, to celebrate and express gratitude for the pioneering role Omani women play in various fields in general, and in the Foreign Ministry in particular, in the prosperous reign of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik, may God protect him.

I wish you all, success in serving our beloved Oman. Thank you