Youth research

Report says leaders’ support makes UAE a global leader in gender balance

The UAE Gender Balance Council has achieved remarkable success on the world stage. The achievement has become possible thanks to the support of the wise leadership and the support of Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, President of the General Women’s Union (GWU), President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood and Supreme President of the Foundation for Family Development (FDF), the Mother of the Nation, according to a council report.

In the report, Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairwoman of the UAE Gender Balance Council, President of the Dubai Women Establishment (DWE) and wife of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, highlight initiatives and projects undertaken by the council over the past seven years, all of which have contributed immensely to global recognition of the UAE’s commitment to the gender balance.

Sheikha Manal expressed pride in these achievements and underscored that the support and progressive vision of wise leadership has enabled the UAE to cement its position among the world’s leading countries in this field, resulting in successes notable for Emirati women over the past 50 years. She added that the legislation and policies established the principle of equal opportunities, equal rights and duties and access to equal employment opportunities.

Sheikha Manal confirmed that these efforts have transformed the work culture in the UAE and enabled the country to successfully climb the rankings of several international reports measuring gender equality, rising to 18th place in the world in 2020, against the 49th in 2015 and the first in the Arab world. in the Gender Inequality Index (GII) of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The United Arab Emirates also ranked first in the MENA region in the “Women, Business and the Law” report in 2021 and 2022 published by the World Bank, which measures the efforts of governments around the world to develop laws and legislation to protect and economically empower women.

The UAE also ranked first in the Arab world in the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Report in 2021 and 2022, where it led globally in four sub-indicators: parliamentary representation of women, the literacy rate, the male-female ratio at birth and the rate of girls. enrollment in primary education. The UAE also topped the global rankings for women’s parliamentary representation in 2020 and 2021 in the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook, where the percentage of women’s representation in the Federal National Council reached 50% and ranked first in the Gender Gap in Secondary Enrollment indicator in Global Human Capital. Report of the World Economic Forum.

Sheikha Manal said the UAE Gender Balance Strategy 2022-2026 aims to strengthen the UAE’s global leadership and influence in this area, stressing that gender balance is a priority in the vision of the country under the leadership of the President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al. Nahyan and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.

She also praised Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak’s support for women in family, social, educational and professional spheres for more than half a century, which has led to significant progress in gender balance and development. opportunity for all, enabling the United Arab Emirates to become a regional player. model to follow.

She spoke about the most important projects implemented by the council since its inception, among them the “Gender Balance Guide: Actions for Organizations in the UAE”, developed in cooperation with the Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development (OECD), the first of its kind. around the world to support gender parity in the workplace. Another initiative is the “Gender Balance Index”, developed in cooperation with the Prime Minister’s Office, which honors personalities, initiatives and government entities that support gender balance. Sheikha Manal announced that the index will soon be implemented at the local government level after the great success and impact it has had at the federal level since 2017, in a step that will play a vital role in improving the UAE’s competitiveness globally.

During Expo 2020, the council launched a report entitled “Balance for Better: A comprehensive overview of gender balance in the UAE”, to promote awareness of gender balance in the Emirates. United Arab Emirates, highlighting its process and achievements in the country and exploring opportunities to improve its global competitiveness.

Since 2019, the UAE Gender Balance Council has been working with a group comprising ministries and federal authorities to review, update and propose new laws and policies relating to women to improve gender balance. in the country and to fill the gaps in the global indicators. As a result, new laws and legislative improvements have been enacted in more than 20 legal articles over three years, covering areas such as labor, protection, political participation, personal status, parental leave, wages, transactions banking, freedom of movement, marriage, entrepreneurship, real estate and retirement.

In 2020, the board launched the “Guide for Women on Board”, in cooperation with the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), as part of its efforts to increase the representation of women in management and board positions. decision in the public and private sectors, due to its positive effects proven by previous experiences and specialized studies.

The United Arab Emirates was the first country in the region and the second in the world after Norway to enact binding legislation requiring the representation of women on the boards of directors of government entities and institutions in 2012. The SCA also implemented implement a policy to increase the percentage of representation of women on their boards of directors in listed companies. These efforts have increased the representation of women on the boards of federal government entities to 24% and to 19.8% on the boards of the country’s chambers of commerce and industry.

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