UAE continues to pave paths towards global gender equality, Al Qasimi

31 Jan 2018

Solidarity and equality between men and women as a fundamental right within the UAE, the wise leadership has been highly dedicated to the advancement of gender equality to achieve the highly anticipated national agenda, said H.E Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, President of Zayed University.

This came during her two-day panel discussion partake on ‘Women’s Empowerment in the Middle East and North Africa - Opportunity for All: Promoting Growth, Jobs, and Inclusiveness in the Arab World’ conference, which was recently held in Marrakesh, Morocco.

H.E mentioned that since the establishment of the UAE, Late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan portrayed women’s fundamental rights as part of the empowerment of the entire community. Following footsteps, Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Mother of the Nation, has taken that vision as a personal responsibility, delivering henceforth, endless support and effective nationwide related initiatives.

During her speech, Al Qasimi said that one of the three key pillars of the UAE’s Foreign Assistance Strategy is women’s protection and empowerment, which stands as a sign of commitment that peace and stability cannot be achieved without the inclusion of women. "The UAE continues to pave paths towards global gender equality," she said.

The Government of the UAE enjoys Nine female ministers, making up 29 percent of ministerial roles which is considered the highest in the region. Moreover, Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi is the first woman in the Arab world to be elected as speaker of a national council.

In September 2015, the UAE established the Gender Balance Council to enhance work environment by giving women equal opportunities in the public sector. Towards that end, the UAE launched the Gender Inequality Index for Government sector. The council would enact a framework to consolidate the efforts of various government entities. It aims to boost the country's efforts to evolve and enhance women's role as key partners in building the future of the nation.

The UAE ranked among the 1st countries in the 2014 WEF report on the literacy rate indicator and on its enrolment in secondary education index. It achieved a ranking of 43 (out of 185 countries) on Educational attainment in the Gender Inequality Index, a section of the 2014 UN Human Development Report, the highest ranking of all Arab countries.

“We recognize the importance of investing in women so that they can reach their full potential. We currently have over 23,000 registered businesswomen in the UAE, with investments totaling 50 billion Dirhams, more than 13 billion USD.”

Today, women constitute 46.6 percent of our labor force. “We see female participation in nearly every economic sector, with women comprising 66 percent of the public sector, 40 percent of the education sector, 35 percent of the health sector, and 20 percent the social affairs sector.”

Now, more women than men complete their secondary education and go on to enroll at universities. 95 percent of female high-school graduates pursue further education at tertiary-level institutions, compared with 80 percent of males. Women constitute almost two-thirds of students attending government universities and over half at private tertiary-level institutions.

56 percent of the UAE’s STEM courses graduates at government universities are women. At the prestigious Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi, 60 percent of Emirati graduate students are females.

The event, which was sponsored by the International Monetary Fund, Morocco, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development and the Arab Monetary Fund, was organized by Christine Lagarde, Director General of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

A number of Government heads, ministers, experts, and academics, attended the major event, including Saadeddine Othmani, Prime Minister of Morocco, Youssef Chahed, Head of Government of Tunisia, Abdlatif Yousef Al-Hamad, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of Arab Fund for Economic & Social Development, and Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Humaidy, Director General Chairman of the Board in the Arab Monetary Fund, Mohamed Boussaid, Minister of Economy and Finance of Morocco, and many other esteemed guests.