The UAE’s Minister of Economy said the country was “fully committed” to dialogue and cooperation to foster a culture of diversity and inclusiveness that would support global development.
Speaking on Wednesday at the Global Women in Leadership Economic Forum, Sultan Al Mansouri reaffirmed the UAE’s commitment to supporting women.
“Our aspiration for society can best be achieved by working together. For our part, the UAE attributes much of its success to its inclusive approach to development. We fully support efforts to establish a dynamic ecosystem that motivates companies to make a difference and drive positive change,” the minister said in a speech.
He pointed out that over 60 per cent of the workforce in the public sector in the UAE is comprised of women, and highlighted the recent appointment of 9 women ministers who now form 28 per cent of the UAE Cabinet.
“The UAE will continue to empower women, remove barriers to personal and professional growth across all segments of society, and encourage the private sector to fulfil their social [responsibility] … The UAE is fully committed to supporting dialogue and cooperation and forcing a culture of diversity and inclusiveness,” Al Mansouri said.
Also speaking at the forum was Noura Al Ka’abi, the UAE’s Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs, who said that empowering women was “no longer a matter of debate,” as it was clearly the right thing to do both socially and economically.
“Women’s participation in the economy not only boosts development, it diversifies national economies and opens a nation up to new ideas and approaches,” she said.
Al Ka’abi pointed, however, that despite high rates of education of women in the UAE, there are many women in the country who are unemployed.
“There are certain societal and familial traditions still at play such that more women may stay at home than men…There are [also] challenges that women in particular confront in the workplace such as maternity leave and work-life balance. These are things that tend to affect women disproportionately due to traditional gender roles,” she said.
Al Ka’abi said employers in the UAE can support women through policies such as good maternity and paternity leave, providing nurseries at work, and offering flexible work schedules for men and women with families.