Annually on 8 March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. Beside the International Women’s day, in Oman, on October 17 there is also Omani Women’s Day.
The north and the south celebrate this events in their own way. For the International Women day, in the north of Oman there is a three day event in Al Qurum Natural Park and several articles and statements of women appeared in the local newspapers.
In the south, in Salalah, in the Chamber of Commerce, I attended an evening organised by Anisa, the first woman in Dhofar who manage the ladies committee in the Al Nasr club. Mussallem Al Mashli, Iman of the Sultan Qaboos Mosque and Mostafa Ahmed, Iman of the Al Burami Mosque were guest of honor. Especially Mostafa Ahmed talked about the role women have to play in a changing society. Women account for half the Sultanate’s population. In a house where girls are born, Allah gives happiness. Islam concerns about women. Being a good example and giving good education also about Islam is important. If you want to do something for the future, do something for the girls. Via Islamic stories he gave advises to the 35 women who gathered for this evening. Afterwards the women were invited for a cozy sitting together with a drink and Omani food.
In Oman, since 1970, when the current leader Sultan Qaboos took over power, conditions for women have improved dramatically. The key to empower women was education. In 1971 Omani Women Associations were established all over the country. Women in Oman can work, drive, vote, own property and hold office. In Oman Daily Observer one can read that there is a dramatic increase in the number of Omani women working in the public and private sectors, as well as a growing trend in women students opting for private school education and seeking higher education. Still studies and measurements to enhance women’s empowerment, certainly in the rural areas are necessary. Events like this can only help to enhance the status of women, so that every day becomes an International Women’s day.