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Princess Haya works to restore historic boat to empower women

Her Royal Highness Princess Haya bint Al Hussein is working to restore a vessel in memory of her late father, King Hussein of Jordan, that first set sail in 1990. The Maiden boat was first manned by an all-woman crew as it participated in the Whitbread Round – the race which traverses the world. To help empower women around the globe, the Princess is seeing that it will be restored to continue this movement.

Her Royal Highness will see the ship returned to the UK in the footsteps of her father. The Princess wrote on Instagram:

“Today I am honoured to be involved in the resurrection of the historic vessel ‘Maiden’ something my late father HM King Hussein I championed all those years ago. As his daughter, I do so in the knowledge that his memory and issues he cared so much for will live on in this epic maritime adventure once again. Sadly, in its day back in the 80s having an all-female crew was something of a surprise to many, but the team led by the intrepid Tracy Edwards MBE showed the world, in my late father’s words that ‘anything is possible.’ I urge you all to share and join us on the three-year journey around the world to fight for access to education whatever your gender; something that is more relevant today than ever before. #anythingispossible”

The Maiden boat took second place in the 1990 Whitbread. Its restoration will take over a year to complete after which it will set sail on another voyage campaign called “The Maiden Factor.”

The aim of this campaign is to spread the word that every girl, no matter where she is, has the potential and the right to an education.

Princess Haya told Emirates Woman: “My father, King Hussein I, would have been the first to offer his support and guidance to the new Maiden Project announced this week.

“I, as a young girl, fondly remember his ‘hands-on’ involvement with the original project which made sporting history, and surprisingly feel how the issues of female equality and values he championed all those years ago seem even more relevant today.

“Having the intrepid Tracy Edwards MBE back at the helm is something I know my father would have been so happy to learn, and he would have wanted me to be part of this project.”

Tracy Edwards noted that more than 61 million girls around the world are still denied access to education. “The crew of Maiden faced many obstacles and prejudices. Very few people believed an all-female crew could complete the race and not only did we prove everyone wrong, we won two legs and came second overall.

“Now we would like to do the same for women around the world, who are being denied an education and the opportunity to reach their full potential,” Edwards said.

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