The UAE is a role model for gender balance, says top official

A total of 56 local and international companies have joined a nationwide initiative to raise percentage of women occupying senior leadership positions to 30%

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By Web Desk

Published: Wed 25 Jan 2023, 9:19 PM

The leadership’s vision to empower women has ensured that women in the Emirates are equal participants and major contributors to the nation’s sustainable development journey, said a top official.

Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Vice-President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, said the confidence in the competencies of women has enabled the nation to be a global leader in gender balance, she noted.

The rapid progress that the UAE has achieved in gender balance is demonstrated by the country being ranked first in the Arab world and 11th globally on the Gender Inequality Index (GII) of the United Nations Development (UNDP) Programme’s Human Development Report 2022, Her Excellency said.

The country has jumped 38 positions on the Gender Inequality Index since the establishment of the UAE Gender Balance Council seven years ago.

The UAE was also ranked first for the second consecutive year both in the World Bank’s ‘Women, Business and the Law 2022’ report and the World Economic Forum's Gender Gap Report 2022, she added.

Speaking at the 8th Dubai International Project Management Forum (DIPMF), being held under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, from January 23-26 at Madinat Jumeirah, Al Marri said the year 2022 saw the country’s private sector further strengthening its involvement in initiatives to accelerate the implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG 5).

A total of 56 local and international companies based in the UAE have joined a national initiative to raise the percentage of women occupying senior leadership positions to 30% by 2025. Some companies have already increased the percentage of senior women leaders in their organisations to 27%, Her Excellency noted.

She also said that by demonstrating their capabilities in various fields, women have gained the confidence of the UAE leadership. Women comprise 27.5% of the UAE cabinet and 50% of the UAE Federal National Council, and hold key positions as members of the diplomatic corps.

“UAE women have made substantial contributions in various sectors and play vital leadership roles in accelerating the growth and sustainable development of the nation,” she added.

She further noted that the UAE Gender Balance Council constantly reviews existing practices and legislation to recommend new policies to enhance the growth, participation and wellbeing of women.

Highlighting the priority that the UAE’s leadership has placed on women’s education, Al Marri said 56% of UAE’s graduates in STEM fields are females, one of the highest rates in the world.

Citing examples of exceptional gender balance achievements in Dubai organisations, she said the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) employs 100 women engineers. Due to the country’s strong investment in education, women are active participants in sectors across the economy.

Al Marri also highlighted the role of the media as a vital partner in conveying an accurate picture of the UAE’s gender balance achievements.

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