x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Danish princess spreads the message about girl power

Princess Benedikte of Denmark is in the UAE with a mission: spreading the word about the importance of empowering girls.

Princess Benedikte was herself a girl guide.
Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
Princess Benedikte was herself a girl guide. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

SHARJAH // Princess Benedikte of Denmark came to the UAE with a mission: spread the word about the importance of empowering girls.

She came to encourage the girls to get the skills they need to lead successful lives through girl guiding and girl scouting, and to honour those who have made great contributions to this cause.

A patron of the Olave Baden-Powell Society, which works to support the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (Wagggs), Princess Benedikte was invited by Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qassimi, the wife of the Ruler of Sharjah and chair of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, to come to the UAE on the occasion of celebrating the Wagggs' centenary years.

A former girl guide herself, Princess Benedikte emphasised the numerous benefits to girls who participate in guiding and scouting.

Among them are the skills they build so that they can be leaders and advocates for change.

"We can help girls and young women build both their self esteem and self confidence, whilst also enabling them to gain new experiences," she said.

Princess Benedikte said being a guide opened her eyes to important issues.

"There is a lot which I'm thankful for in my everyday life, be it at home or in travel," she said. "A girl guide is a person you can trust, who's inquisitive in nature and has her eyes and ears open for new things."

Through the Global Girls Fund campaign, the movement's 100-year anniversary appeal, the world association hopes to raise money for its cause.

Sheikha Jawaher, who is also president of girl guiding and girl scouting in the UAE, and Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, the chairwoman of the General Women's Union and the Family Development Foundation, were both honoured with the Princess Benedikte Award, which is given to individuals who donate more than £25,000 (Dh143,000).