UAE a leading champion of women’s rights - GulfToday

UAE a leading champion of women’s rights


The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Once again the UAE has shown that when it comes to championing the cause of women or their rights, it is no mute spectator or a back bencher.

The UAE has called upon UN Member States to uphold their obligations to promote and protect the fundamental freedoms and rights of women at the UN’s High-Level Meeting on Beijing+25 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women.

In her virtual address to the UN General Assembly, Hessa Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, said, “Since the founding of our nation, the United Arab Emirates has believed that the full participation of women as equal partners is critical for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

The Minister said tackling discrimination and inequality was a priority. In this regard, she emphasised the greater need to allocate adequate resources for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.

The UAE has always offered a splendid example when it comes to women’s empowerment and gender equality.

Emirati women have played a stellar role in the UAE through their political participation; women now hold 50 per cent of the seats in the UAE’s parliamentary body, the Federal National Council. Women also constitute 80 per cent of the scientists for the Emirates Mars Mission, which made history earlier this year as the first Arab interplanetary mission.

The Decree of Federal Law No. 06 for 2020 lays down equal wages for women and men in the private sector.

Article 01 of the decree-law, issued by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, stipulates that the provisions of Article 32 of Federal Law No. 08 of 1980 regarding the regulation of labour relations shall be replaced by the following text: “Female employees shall receive wages equal to that of males if they perform the same work, or another of equal value. The procedures, controls and standards necessary for evaluating work of equal value will be set under a decision to be issued by the Cabinet, based on a proposal from the Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation.”

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation began the efforts for achieving gender equality in terms of wages by implementing the decree of Federal Law No. 06, which was issued on 25 August, 2020.

The UAE leads the region’s countries in bridging the gender pay gap, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report in 2020. That’s not all. The UAE Armed Forces manage and deliver the training of women from several countries in the region and beyond. This is a testament to the UAE’s commitment to women’s empowerment across all sectors and its contribution to advancing the agenda of Women, Peace and Security.

In May, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet praised efforts by the UAE to protect women during the COVID-19 pandemic in a webinar titled “COVID-19 and Gender Equality: Living Up to the Challenge.”

The UAE has exerted significant effort to protect women, launching remote work for pregnant women and mothers with children in the 9th grade and younger as early precautions to curb the spread of COVID-19.

“The UAE is fully committed to the promotion of women’s rights and considers the empowerment of women fundamental to the development of a modern and progressive society,” said Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al Jarman, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for Human Rights and International Law.

The UAE has also established distance learning for girls and health services for women in order to enhance their physical and psychological wellbeing and ensure access to medical care, particularly during the current crisis.

To cap it all, the nation offers unmatched safety for women. Women feel extremely safe when walking along the streets of the emirates at night – a major testimony to the country’s care and concern for its people.

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