UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. File
President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has issued Federal Decree No. 27 of 2019 appointing two female judges at the Federal Judiciary.
The new judges Khadeeja Khamis Khalifa Al Malas and Salamah Rashid Salem Al Ketbi are the first two Emirati women to hold judicial positions at the Federal level in the UAE.
This latest appointment reflects the UAE government’s stance to ensure that women are empowered in their line of work, playing an integral role in the development and progress of the nation.
It highlights the achievements obtained by Emirati women, as well as the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to ensure females have an increased presence and role in the country’s federal courts system.
The appointment of Al Malas and Al Ketbi also represents the initiatives and policies undertaken by the UAE Cabinet to further empower Emirati women in their community, including President Khalifa’s decision to increase Emirati women’s representation in the Federal National Council, FNC, to 50 per cent in the upcoming parliamentary term.
Recently, during the general discussion of the 63rd Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the UAE called for greater action to address current challenges in advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
Hessa Tahlak, Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Community Development and Head of the UAE Delegation to the annual session of the CSW, delivered the national statement outlining the UAE’s advances on gender equality and women’s empowerment - crediting Emirati leaders who believed in the critical role and inclusion of women in all of society.
“Our founding father late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan left us a rich legacy that provides the vision to continue building a prosperous and tolerant society based on the principle of empowering women and girls. This vision is also supported by Her Highness 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), who leads the national efforts to empower women,” she stated.
Tahlak highlighted that the UAE Constitution guarantees equal rights to all its citizens, women and men, and that the UAE considers women’s participation in decision-making roles a key pillar for women’s economic empowerment. In December 2018, the UAE issued a decree to increase the percentage of women in the Federal National Council to 50 percent by the next term - reinforcing the UAE’s commitment to gender equality and women and girls’ empowerment.
Tahlak stated that the UAE’s efforts to empower women and girls extend beyond its borders, and gender equality underpins Emirati foreign aid policy. Recently, the UAE launched the “100% women” initiative, which aims to incorporate gender equality and women’s empowerment into all bilateral and multilateral foreign aid projects by 2021. Additionally, she emphasised that the priority theme of the session, “Social Protection Systems, Access to Public Services, and Sustainable Infrastructure for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls,” is a critical topic at this time.
“Sustainable infrastructure development is one of the main objectives of the UAE’s international assistance and a key driver in empowering women and girls,” stressed Tahlak.
“Improved infrastructure contributes to increased mobility and access to markets, and reduces the time of unpaid domestic work, thus freeing women and girls to improve their livelihoods and better contribute to the economy.”