Abu Dhabi: When a new college was opened in 2006 at Madinat Zayed, a remote town in Al Gharbia (Western region), around 170 kilometres away from Abu Dhabi City, an elderly Emirati woman enthusiastically rushed to the campus, bypassing the security guards.
With her hand on her granddaughter’s shoulder, she guided the young woman on the opening day of the college, saying she wanted her granddaughter to benefit from the new opportunity, the then director of Madinat Zayed Colleges, Dr Philip Quirke told Gulf News.
The elderly woman, who was unable to educate herself, was promoting the progressive view of Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, for whom women’s education, emancipation and empowerment were among his core principles. Shaikh Zayed always pushed for girls to be enrolled in schools.
Following Shaikh Zayed’s vision, the UAE has achieved tremendous gains for women and encouraged women to aim for the sky. Here are some statistics that bear witness to UAE’s sterling performance in this field:
Women make up 66 per cent of public sector workers, and 30 per cent of them are in leadership roles.
Women aged 15 years and above constitute 46.6 per cent of the UAE’s labour force.
The latest measure to support this female workforce was a new draft law passed by the Cabinet to ensure that men and women receive equal pay for equal work, as announced by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on April 10, 2018.
About 75 per cent of positions in education and health sectors are occupied by women.
The latest measure to support female workforce was a new draft law passed by the Cabinet to ensure that men and women receive equal pay for equal work, as announced by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on April 10, 2018.
The UAE has taken great strides in achieving gender equality and last year, authorities launched The Gender Balance Guide: Actions for UAE Organisations, which will be adopted by private and public organisations, as well as institutions, as a tool to advance gender balance in the workplace.
The guide, which was established by the UAE Gender Balance Council in coordination with the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), was the first of its kind in the world.
The UAE Council for Gender Balance was established in 2015 to position the country among the leading countries in the world in terms of gender balance.
As Gulf News reported as of March 1, 2018, a new policy ensured that Dubai Government employees received a three-month paid maternity leave.
It is also permitted to add annual leave and unpaid leave to the maternity leave, with the condition that it does not exceed 120 days.
Emirati women’s achievements:
8 Number of women ministers, making it one of the highest rates of ministerial representation in the region.
+22% Women representation in the Federal National Council.
95% of female high school graduates pursue higher education.
1st The UAE ranked first in the 2015 World Economic Forum report on the literacy rate indicator and on women’s enrolment in secondary education index.
1st among 132 countries The UAE ranks at the top in the ‘women treated with respect’ indicator in the Social Progress Index 2015 report.
175 Emirati women are in the diplomatic and consular corps at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
42 Emirati women work in the diplomatic corps at the UAE missions abroad. There are currently four women ambassadors in the diplomatic corps at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
66% women make up 66 per cent of public sector workers.
30% of Emirati women are in leadership roles.
46.6% women aged 15 years and above constitute 46.6 per cent of the UAE’s labour force.
75% of positions in UAE education and health sectors are occupied by women.
3 month maternity leave As of March 1, 2018, a new policy ensures that Dubai Government employees receive a three-month paid maternity leave.
15 Emirati women join the country’s first Women’s Firefighting Unit at the Sharjah Civil Defence in February 2018