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UAE Gender Balance Council, OECD identify best practices for gender mainstreaming in government

reporters@khaleejtimes.com Filed on June 7, 2021
Wam file photo

Two knowledge-sharing consultations included more than 35 gender experts from around the world


The UAE Gender Balance Council, in collaboration with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), held two sessions to identify best practices for gender mainstreaming in government, and strengthening access to justice for women and girls.

Experts from government and international organisations discussed policy and legislative examples of how to ensure government employees around the world can embed a gender lens in their work, and to identify the specific and unique legal needs of women and girls required to integrate a gender lens into service delivery within justice systems. The results of these meetings will inform the ‘Global Best Practices for Gender Balance Toolkit’, a global, open-access resource being developed by the UAE Gender Balance Council and the OECD as a project of the Global Council on Sustainable Goal 5 (Gender Equality).

The Toolkit will support decision makers in designing gender responsive policies, programmes, and frameworks with the intention of advancing meaningful gender equality around the world. Considering the unprecedented impacts of Covid-19, the Toolkit will also include lessons learnt from previous economic and health crises to inform gender-sensitive preparedness and management of future economic, social, and public health crises.

Pursuing a women’s empowerment agenda

The first consultation addressed Section 5 of the Toolkit – ‘Equipping Policy Makers to Pursue a Women’s Empowerment Agenda’, while the second addressed Section 4 - ‘Strengthening access to justice for women and girls’.

The consultations included more than 35 technical gender experts from around the world, including Shamsa Saleh, Secretary-General of the UAE Gender Balance Council; Tatyana Teplova, Senior Counsellor on Gender Equality and Justice, and Head of Division, at the OECD; Marcy Grossman, Ambassador of Canada to the UAE; Yusuke Sato, Director of the Cabinet Office in the Government of Japan; Rania Al Jarf, Director of the Gender Balance Centre at the Supreme Council for Women in Bahrain; Isabel Santagostino, Private Sector Development Specialist at the World Bank; and Dilanthi Amaratunga, Professor of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management at the University of Huddersfield in the UK; as well as additional gender experts from the UAE, the US, France, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Norway, Egypt, Tunisia, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Romania, and Malaysia.

Strengthening and sustaining gender equality

Saleh highlighted that the UAE Gender Balance Council’s commitment to supporting the global gender balance agenda. The development of this Toolkit, she stated, is being developed in line with the directives and support of Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the Council, President of Dubai Women Establishment, and wife of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

"The toolkit will tangibly advance gender equality around the world. The Covid 19 pandemic has recharged conversations about gender equality, and it is our hope that this resource will enable global efforts to advance gender equality long after the pandemic has passed. Our vision for this Toolkit is to support decision makers to strengthen and sustain gender equality within their countries and organizations, and to identify the necessary resources, initiatives, and systems that are imperative to ensuring women can access their legal rights and receive justice," added Saleh.

The Toolkit will be launched during Expo 2020 in Dubai as an online resource, which will be freely available for everyone.

Tatyana Teplova, Senior Counsellor on Gender Equality and Justice, and Head of Division, at the OECD, stated: “Gender equality and access to justice for women are among the OECD’s highest priorities. This Toolkit identifies best practices and pinpoints relevant benchmarks and indicators to help close gender gaps around the world. It will respond to the ever-increasing urgency to tackle gender inequality. It is also vital to address specific barriers to women’s access to justice, which often include discrimination, stigma, overlapping economic disadvantages, and gaps in legal service provision. Our hope is that the Toolkit will serve as an actionable resource in the hands of policy-makers to support the global fight against gender inequality.”

— business@khaleejtimes.com

Staff Reporter





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