OPN_190523-Emirati-women-(Read-Only) Emirati woman
In 2018, the UAE was ranked the first country in the Arab world for wage equality, with Emirati women achieving the best gender equality in the leadership and administrative positions’ index. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: UAE residents have hailed the landmark decree mandating equal wages for both women and men in the private sector which came into force on Friday. The mandate says female employees will receive wages equal to that of men if they have the same work.

The decree was based on Federal Law No. 06 for 2020 issued by the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on August 25 stating: “Female employees shall receive wages equal to that of males if they perform the same work, or another of equal value. The procedures, controls and standards necessary for evaluating work of equal value will be set under a decision to be issued by the Cabinet, based on a proposal from the Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation.”

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Alisha Moopen

Alisha Moopen, deputy managing director at Aster DM Healthcare, hailed th decision as forward looking. She said: “Any nation, community or organisation that doesn’t unlock the full potential of its entire population is losing half its resource power. Another brilliant and forward-looking move by UAE and our beloved President that has enforced the equal pay for equal work irrespective of gender.” “I feel so proud and excited for such progressive moves that will continue to propel this country forward. I am positive this will turbo charge the growth of the UAE and, furthermore, will be a game changer for this region,” she added.

Kamal Vachani

Kamal Vachani, group director of Almaya Group, said the UAE has led the path in making reforms. He told Gulf News: “This (equal pay) is a great announcement. This is a wonderful pioneering move by the government. The UAE has always been a leader in major reforms and this move is a sign of great leadership and governance.”

Sheela Menon

The landmark decision was praised as a model of inclusive society by educator Sheela Menon, principal at Ambassador School in Dubai. She said: “The UAE leaders are setting a significant and powerful example of inclusive society in the true sense by this landmark decision. It is a very positive and strong message to the younger generation.”

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Simona Agolini

Canadian-Italian expat Simona Agolini, CEO and co-founder of family mobile app QiDZ, said: “Today, September 25, the law on equal wages pay comes into effect. For the women and men in the UAE, this is an amazing milestone and a real sign of the commitment of the UAE in supporting women in the workforce. I’m super excited to be among the women who will benefit from this kind of initiative and I feel that it really puts the UAE at the forefront of gender equality.”

UAE to become more attractive

Sheila Tobias

Filipino expat Sheila Tobias, senior communications manager at Twister Communications, is confident the recent announcement will attract more families, not just women to live and work in the UAE Dubai. She explained: “The decree is a good step that would give the female workforce more motivation to contribute more towards the success of the company - since they know that they will be compensated equally as compared with their male counterparts. In addition, I think it will attract more families to come here (in the UAE) and find a new home.”

Shaneer Nusrat Siddiqui

Indian expat and media consultant Shaneer Nusrat Siddiqui, 38, added: “The equal pay law is an amazing step by UAE government towards gender equality, equality at workplace and an equal society. I would like to add, though, even earlier the UAE has always been talent-oriented and gender was never an issue. But this law will encourage and boost more women power to showcase their skills and expertise at best; and will help to improve the workforce market. The UAE leadership has shown again that this country is a champion of human rights and women empowerment. I am sure that this law is going to be an exemplar for other countries also in terms of women rights and society development.”