March 12, 2020

Former Canadian PM, first Qatari female combat pilot highlight women’s accomplishments in Qatar and Canada

University of Calgary in Qatar and Embassy of Canada Qatar recognize International Women’s Day 2020 and International Year of the Nurse and Midwife

The University of Calgary in Qatar and the Embassy of Canada to Qatar recently hosted a reception to officially recognize International Women’s Day 2020 and the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.

Honoured guests from across Qatar’s diplomatic, business, and health-care sectors were welcomed by Dr. Deborah White, dean of the University of Calgary in Qatar, and Stefanie McCollum, ambassador of Canada to the State of Qatar.

The evening’s guest speaker was Joe Clark, former prime minister of Canada (and University of Calgary honourary degree recipient, 1984). Clark brought remarks on the important subject of women’s accomplishments in Qatar and Canada. He also highlighted that empowering women and girls to equally participate in economic, social, and political life benefits all societies.

White and McCollum were also especially honoured to welcome to the event one of Qatar’s newest female role models and trailblazer. Lieut. Aljazi Nasser Mohamed Al-Nasr, the first Qatari female combat pilot.

  • Photo above: From left, Joe Clark, Aljazi Nasser Mohamed Al-Nasr, Deborah White, and Stefanie McCollum. University of Calgary in Qatar photo

2020 is Year of Nurse and Midwife

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Year of the Nurse and Midwife is a major global effort to highlight an acute shortage of these crucial health workers. WHO chose 2020 to celebrate the work of nurses because it is the bicentenary of the birth of the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale.

“Our priority is educating nursing leaders in Qatar and for Qatar,” said White. “Along with many other parts of the world, we are experiencing a shortage of nurses here in Qatar. I believe that recognizing the value of nursing as a profession contributes greatly to the success and development of Qatar’s health-care system.

"As a Canadian university, we are proud to offer nursing education here in Qatar. We have over 650 alumni working throughout Qatar’s hospitals, health centres, military, and companies. These are nursing leaders who are making important contributions to the health and well-being of Qatar.”

International Women's Day theme #BecauseOfYou

International Women’s Day is an annual, global event in recognition and celebration of the social economic, cultural, and political achievements of women and girls. Empowering women and girls to equally participate in economic, social and political life benefits people of all genders. It increases economic prosperity, promotes peace and security, upholds fairness and justice in our society, and ultimately creates happier and healthier communities.

McCollum said, “I am delighted to be part of this event — a collaboration between the Embassy of Canada and the University of Calgary in Qatar, jointly celebrating International Women’s Day and the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. Canada chose #BecauseOfYou as this year’s International Women’s Day theme, which pays tribute to the diverse and inspirational gender equality change-makers we know in our own lives, both in Canada and globally.