Dubai: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, expressed his deep appreciation for the contributions of Emirati women in all sectors and the crucial role they play in shaping the country’s future. Sheikh Mohammed emphasised the nation’s enduring commitment to supporting women and fostering their active involvement in furthering the nation’s growth and development. This commitment reflects the UAE’s efforts to raise its profile as a global leader in gender balance, he added.
Sheikh Mohammed said: “We are very proud of the vital contributions of Emirati women in all sectors. We continue to support women and ensure their participation in shaping the future of the country. Our constitution and regulations guarantee equal opportunities, rights and responsibilities. We are committed to investing in our human resources, as they are a winning bet for the future.”
Sheikh Mohammed honoured the winners of the fifth edition of the Gender Balance Index for the Federal Government for 2023. Awards were presented in three categories: the ‘Best Figure for Supporting Gender Balance’, the ‘Best Federal Entity for Supporting Gender Balance’, and the ‘Best Initiative for Supporting Gender Balance’.
Sheikh Mohammed honoured Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, who was named the ‘Best Figure for Supporting Gender Balance’.
He also honoured the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, the winner in the category of ‘Best Federal Entity for Supporting Gender Balance’ (on the level of ministries), and Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, the winner of the UAE Gender Balance Seal.
Sheikh Mohammed honoured the Emirates Schools Establishment, the winner in the category of the ‘Federal Entity Supporting Gender Balance’ (at the level of entities), and the Director-General of the Emirates Schools Establishment, who received the UAE Gender Balance Seal on behalf of Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, the Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology and Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Schools Establishment.
Sheikh Mohammed also honoured the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, the winner in the category of the ‘Best Initiative for Supporting Gender Balance’ for the ‘Federal Decree-Law No. 47 of 2021 on Standard General Rules of Work in the United Arab Emirates’, and Dr Abdul Rahman bin Abdulmanan Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, who received the honorary Seal.
Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council and wife of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Presidential Court, said the tireless efforts of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, the ‘Mother of the Nation’, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union (GWU), President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF), have significantly contributed to advancing gender balance in the country. Her Highness’s support has enabled Emirati women to assume crucial roles as leaders, decision-makers, and role models and raised the UAE’s global ranking in the field of gender balance.
Sheikha Manal congratulated the winners of the fifth edition of the Gender Balance Index, praising their efforts and initiatives that contributed to the achievement of national goals and the strategy of the UAE Gender Balance Council aimed at reducing the gender gap in various sectors.
‘Best Figure for Supporting Gender Balance’
The award in the first category is presented to personalities who have played an exceptional role in advancing gender balance and offering equal opportunities to men and women, positively contributing to the UAE’s gender balance profile and its ranking in global competitiveness indices in the region and worldwide.
Sheikha Lubna was chosen as the winner in this category due to her active and influential role in women’s empowerment. She is the first woman to be appointed as a minister in the UAE and has held several ministerial positions including the Minister of State for Tolerance, Minister of State for International Cooperation at Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, the Minister of Economy, the Minister of Foreign Trade, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Sheikha Manal stressed that the support of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid has played a pivotal role in propelling the nation to high rankings in global gender balance indices. The UAE ranked first regionally in the ‘Gender Equality Index’ issued by the United Nations Development Programme, the ‘Women, Business and Law Report’ issued by the World Bank, and the ‘Gender Gap Report’ issued by the World Economic Forum.
‘Best Federal Entity for Supporting Gender Balance’
The second category of the Index is focused on recognising the best federal government entity that supports gender balance. Assessment in this category is based on the government’s national indices, which encompass three pillars: decision-making, education and experience, and the development of an attractive work environment characterised by flexible working hours, remote working options, and other initiatives, legislation and policies.
The Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (at the level of ministries) and the Emirates Schools Establishment (at the level of agencies and institutions) won the award in this category. They were awarded the Gender Balance Seal based on the results of the surveys and the practical steps and actions taken by each of them in this field.
‘Best Initiative for Supporting Gender Balance’
The third category, dedicated to the ‘Best Initiative for Supporting Gender Balance’, is awarded to an initiative that has demonstrated exceptional efforts in promoting best practices, projects, policies and legislation supporting gender balance.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation won the seal for the best initiative for the ‘Federal Law on Unified General Rules for Work in the United Arab Emirates’. The promulgation of this law has contributed to supporting the achievement of gender balance and equal opportunities in the work environment in the public and private sectors. It has achieved this by unifying parental, maternity, and paternity leaves, ensuring equal pay for equivalent work, and prohibiting discrimination in all its forms. The provisions of the law contribute to further promoting sustainable development and economic growth in the UAE.
Partnerships to advance gender balance
Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, emphasised the role played by the Gender Balance Index over the past years in motivating government entities and the private sector to implement policies and initiatives that support gender balance in the work environment which in turn contributed to enhancing the UAE’s global competitiveness. She noted that the Index is one of the important initiatives launched by the Council at the local level in cooperation with the Prime Minister’s Office in the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs.
Mona Al Marri added that the UAE Gender Balance Council, chaired by Sheikha Manal, has achieved remarkable successes since its establishment eight years ago. The Council has effectively established and reinforced significant global partnerships with numerous countries and international organisations renowned for their expertise in gender balance policies. Furthermore, the Council has initiated collaborative projects that have yielded exceptional results in raising awareness about gender balance on both local and global levels.