The essence of womanhood
On the occasion of Omani Women's Day, three senior professionals share their own essence of womanhood in Oman - how they struck a balance between their careers/homes and followed their own dreams
A positive approach towards life
Dr Halima al Maskary
Senior consultant surgeon, Al Hayat Hospital
Being a woman has made me think, decide, and act with strength, besides taking on all the challenges faced. The same strength has made me accept aging confidently because, as many of us know, growing from a young girl to a lady of distinguishing character or qualities is the best part of being a woman.
With proper planning a woman can juggle a career and handle family responsibilities and be successful in both. I had the freedom to bring up my children the way I wanted to. They have studied and pursued their careers, therefore, they learned to support themselves.
A positive approach towards life is what led me to where I am. My entire gamut of life involved commitment to my profession. I had a lot of support from my colleagues to a point whereby I have not felt constrained in my career. My dreams and desires, like most people, are what keep me going and make my entire life worth living.
There is a hidden agenda, whatever happens in life is for goodness and righteousness. I hope, that breaking the binary, I have been inspiring and empowering other women to pursue surgery, in the field of medicine.
A chance to give back to society
Dr Amira Abdul Mohsin al Raidan
Head of Mental Health Section, Department of Non Communicable Diseases, Ministry of Health
The honour that Omani women received from the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said (may God rest his soul), by allocating October 17 of each year as Omani Women’s Day, contributed to encouraging women to engage in the various areas of development that the sultanate is witnessing. locally and internationally, as well as giving them confidence to continue giving and achieving milestones for a better future.
The tangible achievements made by Omani women in the fields of health, education, social, political and economic relations during the past years and up to the present time, have demonstrated the ability of women to balance work requirements and manage family and social duties.
By affirming the vision of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tariq (may God protect him), in ensuring the continued empowerment of women, it provided me with the opportunity to achieve my personal ambitions by choosing to work in the field of treating addictions and psychotropic substances, as well as obtaining the support of my family to give more to this dear country.
I congratulate every woman on this special day and tell them that they have the ability to follow their dreams as well as give back to society.
Fortunate to be an Omani woman
Hamdah al Shamsi
Personal financial coach and trainer
The best thing about being a woman, especially in this time of history, is that I have more choices. Even though I have always been strong and independent, I was also showered with love and affection from the men in my life, unlike women in other parts of the world, where independence means to be totally on your own.
The best part of being a woman is about bearing children. I think this is an amazing miraculous blessing that comes with being a woman, to be responsible for giving life to another human being and to nurture one’s children. I also think I am very fortunate to be an Omani woman living at this time of Oman history, because of the freedom we have.
I was fortunate to have a father who never made me feel different from my three brothers. My dad instilled in me, from a very young age, that I can do anything my brothers could do. He never interfered in the choices I’ve taken all my life. He supported my choice of studying abroad at a time it was not acceptable for girls to travel abroad. And he supported my choice of living on my own in Muscat, which again was not common.
When I got married, I was blessed to have a husband who believed in me and supported me all the way. I had a very successful career with the continued support and love of my husband. He was always there to push me to the top of the career ladder and celebrate my success. I had a very rich and amazing life. I travelled the world, mostly on my own. I chased my every dream, with my husband backing me up all the way. Besides being the head of an organisation, I had a writing career as a columnist with Oman Daily for 15 years now. I also published five books, in addition to being a speaker internationally.
I just retired this year and started doing what I always wanted to do -coaching individuals on personal finance and speaking to the public. All this, while I am still following my passion of traveling the world. Being a woman never stopped me from chasing my dreams and living the life wanted. This life would never be possible, maybe if I was somewhere else, because I am fortunate to be an Omani, in a country where women have the right to be equal to men in all aspects of life.
The free education I had all the way through higher education and the equal opportunities to jobs, promotions and training made it possible for me to head the Public Authority for Social Insurance and represent Oman internationally in my capacity as Chairperson of the Technical Commission of Pension in the International Social Security Association, in Geneva, for 3 years. I am blessed to be an Omani woman, no doubt!