Five years after it was instituted as Emirati Women’s Day, the date of August 28 has become a reaffirmation of the UAE leadership’s commitment to furthering women’s role in nation-building. The day pays tribute to the impressive pace at which Emirati women are expanding possibilities for their country, the latest example of which is to be found in their robust participation in the registration for the Federal National Council (FNC) elections to be held in October. This outcome was the aim of the path-breaking directive issued by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan last year to have 50 per cent of FNC membership comprising women.
The UAE is enabling women to reach their full potential, the results of which are there for the world to see as it crosses one milestone after another as a role-model nation
This abiding belief in female empowerment — that women need to, and must be, an integral part of national progress — has made the UAE the deserving recipient of a host of encomiums across the spectrum.
According to the World Economic Forum’s ‘Global Gender Gap Report 2018’, the UAE was one of the Middle East and North Africa region’s best performing countries in terms of closing their overall gender gaps, achieving a total score of 64 per cent.
Women also account for 66 per cent of public sector positions and 75 per cent of jobs in the health and education sectors.
In education, 77 per cent of Emirati women enrol in higher education after secondary school and make up 70 per cent of all university graduates in the UAE and constitute 45 per cent of the UAE’s space sector workforce. In fact, the UAE space sector has the highest female employment rate in the world, compared to international entities that have an average of 12 per cent female staff.
This is a storming of the bastions that sets its own precedents in history. Across the spectrum, Emirati women have demonstrated that with a visionary leadership as the wind beneath their wings, they can ascend to extraordinary heights of confidence and determination. Thus, they are taking forward the power of the incontestable, a historical truth that women play a defining role in building strong, balanced families, societies and nations, fortify heritage and culture and help humanitarian values to blossom and endure.
Countless examples from different periods of history validate this reality.
The UAE, in recognising this from day one, is enabling women to reach their full potential, the results of which are there for the world to see as it crosses one milestone after another as a role-model nation.