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As an enabler of women’s contributions to national development, the UAE possesses one of the most well-enunciated intentions in the world. Guided by a clear acknowledgement of the potential of its female citizens, the UAE’s policies have helped Emirati women blaze a trail as they stride past milestone after milestone.

The latest set of initiatives, unveiled on Tuesday, further their integration not just with the national agenda, but also make more room to place their imprint on the international stage. For example, the accent on gender equality ambassadors at the United Nations and a push to have more Emirati women in diplomatic missions and as representatives in international organisations are key predicators of their greater ability to shape the global discourse. This will pave the way for Emirati women to have their voices heard across the global stage, an indispensable strength for the UAE and a shot in the arm for the greater principle of contribution of women at the highest levels of international policymaking.

It is an empirically established fact that participation of women, who comprise one half of the human resource potential of the planet, at every level of functioning leads to higher global progress, stronger economies and better social equilibrium.

Many a time, the agenda for women empowerment is constrained by its typical emphases on traditional domains such as businesses and entrepreneurship, private and public sector employment, health and education, etc. However, the real game changer for a country vis-a-vis women’s progress is when it sets out to blur the lines between gender-based occupations, rendering them definitive by the virtue of aptitude and merit alone, and entirely disassociated from a deference to chromosomal combinations.

The latest initiatives for women’s progress are bold in their direction and this is as it should be. Fields that hitherto were less associated with female authority such as diplomacy, judiciary, representation of international bodies and participation in global peacekeeping missions are now firmly in the centrefield and there is every reason to trust that Emirati women will make these domains too a field of their expertise on the quick.

Since its founding year, the UAE has been consistently responsive to the needs and potential of its women citizens, lovingly nurturing their integration with nation-building every step of the way, a fact that is reflected in its national strategy for empowerment of Emirati women for 2015-2021. Now, with the latest plans to further expand the horizons for Emirati women, the future is theirs to seize.