Dubai: The UAE Gender Balance Council held a meeting to discuss its local and global business agenda, including initiatives for 2017, at the General Secretariat of the Cabinet in Dubai.

Led by Mona Ganem Al Merri, Vice-President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, the meeting featured discussions about the ‘UAE Gender Balance Guide’, which will be officially launched in September 2017. The guide will be launched in collaboration with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), alongside talks regarding the terms of the proposed law to introduce nurseries in the private sector.

Other topics discussed included the action plan for the Gender Balance Index, the council’s key achievements in early 2017, as well as the council’s strategy and plans for the next three months. The council also announced its participation in the United Nations’ 61st session of the ‘Commission on the Status of Women’ (CSW), which is taking place in New York till March 24.

Al Merri highlighted that through this participation, the council will identify international best practices on women’s rights in economic, civil, social and educational fields.

During the meeting, Al Merri also presented the directives of Shaikha Manal Bint Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, and the council’s proposals for the coming months. The plans included various projects, initiatives and activities designed to achieve the council’s overall objectives of enhancing women’s participation and achieving gender balance across all sectors.

Three initiatives, which will support the efforts of individuals and organisations in enhancing gender balance throughout the UAE, were also discussed. The first initiative includes documenting the efforts of supporting bodies through the “UAE Gender Balance Stamp”; the second involves the implementation of the “UAE Gender Balance Supporters Medal”; and the third is the establishment of the “Best Three UAE Gender Balance Initiatives Award”.

Al Merri highlighted the importance of committing to the time frames specified during the meeting and implementing the initiatives efficiently to enhance gender balance across various sectors.

She added that these important contributions are designed to open up opportunities to foster cooperation and strengthen the exchange of information and experiences with global entities striving to achieve women’s empowerment. These plans will also discuss new ways to increase women’s participation and provide them with the right opportunities to contribute to socioeconomic development. This is in line with the directives of the UAE’s wise leadership to activate the role of women as a crucial element in the development and progress of the UAE.