The UAE Gender Balance Council held its first official meeting of 2018, chaired by the Council’s Vice President Mona Al Merri, at the Prime Minister’s Office. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Work on a new legislation that will further strengthen the UAE’s achievements and enhance its global competitiveness in gender balance is currently under way by the Gender Balance Council.

This was announced by Shaikha Manal Bint Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, president of the UAE Gender Balance Council, during the council’s first official meeting of 2018.

Shaikha Manal highlighted that the efforts of the UAE Gender Balance Council, in collaboration with related government entities, are in line with its mandate to review and propose legislation that supports equal opportunities and narrows the gender gap across all sectors.

The council’s objective is to support the achievement of the leadership’s vision and directives to fortify the UAE’s position across global competitive indicators and establish the country as a role model for gender balance legislation in the region.

During the meeting, Shaikha Manal emphasised the importance of strengthened cooperation among related government entities in the UAE, as well as partnerships with international institutions and organisations pioneering in the field of gender balance.

She said further collaboration will build on the various accomplishments of the UAE Gender Balance Council, achieved through several initiatives and projects launched over the past three years, as per the objective set by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to establish the UAE as one of the world’s top countries for gender balance.

Role models

Shaikha Manal praised the exemplary efforts of both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Ministry of Finance in support of gender balance, highlighting the entities as role models for governmental cooperation in achieving national goals.

She noted the Ministry of Finance’s efforts in incorporating gender balance principles within its overall strategy as well as its cooperation with the council in organising recent discussion sessions both locally and internationally. In addition, she highlighted the steps taken by the ministry to increase female participation in various leadership positions to achieve national economic and social development goals.

Achievements

While chairing the meeting, Mona Al Merri, vice-president of the council, noted that the first quarter of the year has seen extensive efforts in directing governmental budgets and allocating resources to support women and further the gender balance agenda on a global scale.

Al Merri presented the council’s strategic action plan moving forward on both local and international scale and discussed the initiatives and projects included in the plan.

Abdullah Lootah, member of the UAE Gender Balance Council and director-general of the UAE’s Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, outlined the steps required for the UAE to become one of the world’s leading countries across gender balance indicators.

The council discussed the UAE’s increased ranking across gender balance indicators in 2017 global reports. The UAE was ranked first worldwide in three indicators — ‘property rights between genders’ in the Prosperity Index by Legatum Institute, ‘literacy rate’ in the Global Gender Gap Report by the World Economic Forum, and ‘secondary enrolment gender gap’ in the Human Capital Report by the World Economic Forum.