x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Women’s majlis: National service can raise standards in the UAE

What are your thoughts on the newly announced military-service law for both men and women?

Each month, Weekend will pose a different question to be debated by a series of female Emirati columnists. This week, we ask Alyazia Al ­Mansoori:

What are your thoughts on the newly announced military-service law for both men and women?

The obligation of protecting, defending and preserving a homeland lies upon every citizen in any country. In my opinion, military service should be mandatory to every capable citizen, as nationality isn’t just the privilege of using the resources of the country.

The new law will benefit the UAE in several aspects: the armed forces, homeland security and the citizens.

When it comes to the armed forces, the country will have a back-up of trained soldiers, in case of emergency and when needed. There are approximately 100,000 soldiers within the armed forces of the UAE; after the implementation of the law, the number will be much higher.

The service will encourage the younger generation to be independent, disciplined and responsible, since the security of their country will lie in their hands. They’ll attain teamwork skills and leadership characteristics, as well as it promoting mental agility and physical fitness. Serving their country will bring them pride and honour, and it will build their confidence and self-esteem. Their patriotism and loyalty will grow stronger as well.

Such training will require intensive exercise and activities that may contribute to the reduction of obesity in the country, developing healthy lifestyles and preserving the youth’s health. Military training will allow those who participate to be more respectful towards authority, as the training will entail activities based on a leader’s orders.

On the good side, the military service will not be mandatory for women, but those who are willing to participate will have a life-changing experience. In the Gulf region, women tend to be treated differently, with more caution and softness. The service targeted towards women will teach them to be more independent and not require others to treat them differently. That’s vital in creating equality between genders, which will result in equality in the community, workforce and possibly the homes of many Emirati families.

Sheikh Zayed, the late founder of the UAE, stated that women are a vital part of the growth of the community; he encouraged women to work, but he stated that the type of work shouldn’t be extensive or unsuitable. So, they are also a vital part of the community and its growth. The responsibility of defending the country doesn’t only lie with men, but with women, too.

As Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid stated when announcing the service: “Our message to the world is a message of peace; the stronger we are, the stronger our message.”

Therefore, I, as a citizen, urge every UAE national to serve the country that has given them so much. By participating, we’ll become a strong country, with a strong force to defend itself against any enemy.

Alyazia Al Mansoori is an trainee analyst.

weekend@thenational.ae

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