Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council (GBC), President of the Dubai Women Establishment, and the wife of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, lauded the UAE’s commitment to gender balance, noting that the UAE leadership’s unwavering support and confidence in women’s capability has led them to effectively contribute to the nation’s sustainable development journey.
Sheikha Manal made these comments following the release of the Women, Business and the Law 2023 report by the World Bank, which ranked the UAE as the leading country in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The UAE received a full score in five of the report’s eight key indicators, including mobility, workplace, pay, entrepreneurship, and pension.
Sheikha Manal commended the UAE’s success in providing women with equal opportunities through a series of legislation and policies aimed at ensuring that women continue to contribute to the nation's progress and build a better future for present and future generations.
She expressed her gratitude to the President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for their support and encouragement in achieving this milestone. She also appreciated their commitment to granting women the opportunity to serve the nation and contribute to its progress.
She highlighted that the UAE serves as a global model in women’s empowerment, achieved through the collaboration of the public and private sectors who share a common vision of enhancing women’s contributions in the workplace. This partnership has been reinforced by laws and regulations that provide women with ample opportunities to contribute to the nation’s development across various sectors, including future-oriented industries where the UAE is a leader. She also emphasised that this progress aligns with the leadership’s vision of making the UAE the best nation in the world by 2070.
The annual World Bank report, that covers 190 countries, indicated that the UAE scored 82.5 out of 100 possible points across 35 sub-indicators divided into eight main areas of the report: Mobility, Workplace, Pay, Marriage, Parenthood, Entrepreneurship, Assets, and Pension.
It is noteworthy that the UAE is a regional and global leader in introducing legislation and regulations that support women’s rights and their role in the workplace. The country’s commitment to this cause dates back to 2012 when the UAE Cabinet passed a decision on the presence of women on the boards of government entities, making the UAE the first country in the region and the second in the world to introduce such binding legislation.
In 2015, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid announced the establishment of the UAE Gender Balance Council, a federal entity tasked with developing and implementing the gender balance agenda in the UAE. The Council’s objectives are to reduce the gender gap across all government sectors and achieve gender balance in decision-making positions, as well as promote the UAE’s status as a benchmark for gender balance legislation.
The UAE GBC has collaborated with various federal entities, resulting in the introduction and reforms of over 20 legislations related to employee benefits, equal access to credit, political participation, personal status, judiciary, wages, freedom of movement, marriage, entrepreneurship, assets and pension. These reforms focus on enhancing women’s economic participation and safeguarding their rights.
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