Emirati women occupy first position in Arab region in gender balance indexes



Emirati women occupy first position in Arab region in gender balance indexes


ABU DHABI, 11th March, 2019 (WAM) — The wage equality law between women and men, and increasing the number of female legislators have strengthened UAE’s legislative and legal environment that supports women.


A resolution from President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan stipulates a rise in the number of female members of the Federal National Council, FNC, to half of the total.


Wage equality and increase in the number of female lawmakers have also reinforced the UAE’s position as the leading Arab country.


The UAE’s successes are reflected in the overall performance of the Middle East and North Africa, MENA, region in bridging the gender gap in 2018, according to UN reports.


The UAE is following up its efforts to change the stereotypical image of women in the region, to achieve a brighter future for Arab and Muslim women while noting that Emirati women are a model of hope.


The successes of Emirati women are obvious in the areas of government work, parliamentary representation, labour market participation, and higher education, as well as for their prominent local position.


Statistics from the UN and relevant authorities highlight the fact that the UAE has moved the stage of talking about women rights and how to protect them, to the stage of empowerment and full participation.


H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union (GWU), President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF), is the leader of the UAE’s women’s movement, and due to her efforts, the GWU was founded. Sheikha Fatima’s approach to women’s empowerment is characterised by its balance between openness to modernity and preserving Arab and Islamic values.


Women in the UAE head the parliament, hold eight ministerial positions and have proven their abilities in the space, justice and artificial intelligence, AI, sectors.


Women also occupy 66 percent of public sector jobs, which is one of the highest rates in the world, and this figure rises to 75 percent in the education and health sectors.


Regarding gender balance, the UAE occupies the first position in the Arab region in the “Wage Equality Index” and “Health Equality Index,” according to the “Global Gender Balance Report” issued by the World Economic Forum in 2018.


The UAE also achieved greater gender equality in terms of leading and management positions and life expectancy.


On a parliamentary level, the presence of Emirati Women in the FNC represents significant parliamentary progress and sends a clear message about the importance of the presence of women in politics. During the FNC’s current 14th legislative chapter, 22.2 percent of its total number of members are women.


Eight female ministers were appointed in the recent cabinet that was announced in October 2017, and they now represent 28 percent of the total number of ministers.


Emirati women also have a strong presence in the area of diplomacy, and the number of Emirati women working in the diplomatic and consular corps of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation totals 175, with 42 women working in UAE foreign missions abroad, as per the ministry’s report issued in 2017.


In 2015, the number of businesses owned by women reached 12,000 to 22,000, with investments exceeding AED45 billion. Emirati businesswomen make up about 21 percent of the total number of businesswomen in the Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC, which is the highest percentage.


Emirati women have also made a significant impact on the cultural and intellectual scene, and Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi is currently the Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development.