Women remain key pillar of progress in UAE - GulfToday

Women remain key pillar of progress in UAE

UAE Women

The UAE leadership leaves no stone unturned in ensuring that opportunities are open to all without any discrimination on the basis of gender.

Emirati women have been marching ahead with total confidence in all sectors. The leadership leaves no stone unturned in ensuring that opportunities for education, training and employment are open to all without any discrimination on the basis of gender.

The ranking of the UAE in a World Bank report among the top ten economies exhibiting the most progress towards gender equality since 2017 reinforces the fact that women power shines in the Emirates.

According to the report ‘Women, Business and the Law 2020’, the UAE improved its score by 29.4 points, attaining an overall score of 56.3 across multiple indicators.

The study is significant because it measures 190 economies, tracking how laws affect women at different stages in their working lives and focusing on those laws applicable in the main business city.

It covers reforms in eight areas that are associated with women’s economic empowerment, conducted from June 2017 to September 2019.

The study’s findings clearly reveal that the UAE has improved across five of the eight indicators — mobility, workplace, pay, marriage, and parenthood. The UAE attained the second largest improvement following Saudi Arabia, which saw a change of score totalling 38.8 points.

The achievements cut across varied segments. In terms of mobility, the UAE was one of four economies where passport application procedures were made the same for men and women.

The report has also made it clear that the UAE was one of 12 economies that improved the pay indicator towards gender equality, noting that the country removed all job restrictions on women, allowing them to work the same hours and in the same jobs and industries as men.

The country lifted restrictions on women’s ability to work at night and in jobs deemed dangerous. It eliminated restrictions on women’s employment in agriculture and in the mining, manufacturing, and energy industries.

The UAE is one of seven global economies that enacted new legal protections against sexual harassment in employment.

Emirati women have achieved continuous success and have joined the Federal National Council, FNC, over the last three years either through elections or appointment, reaching the highest levels after the appointment of Dr Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi as Speaker of the FNC.

According to official statistics, women currently account for 66 per cent of the UAE’s labour force, and have a strong presence in education, health and banking, exceeding the presence of men.

In education, 77 per cent of Emirati women enrol in higher education after secondary school and make up 70 per cent of all university graduates in the UAE.

Emirati women also have a strong presence in legal and civil society institutions, especially in the media and community sectors. Women’s organisations, such as the General Women’s Union, GWU, and the Gender Balance Council, have drafted comprehensive strategies to encourage the participation of women and empower them in all areas of life.

Emirati women also have a strong presence in the global space sector, are involved in the manufacturing of satellites and are contributing to research developments in the field.

In 2015, the UAE launched the National Strategy for Empowerment of Emirati Women that provides a framework for all federal and local government entities, the private sector, as well as civil society organisations, to set plans and provide decent living standards and work for women.

Emirati women have right from the beginning received strong national support, which contributed to their many successes in all areas.