Dubai: The UAE Gender Balance Council organised the 7th edition of the UAE Global Gender Circle in Davos, Switzerland, under the title “Public-Private Partnerships for Measurable Progress – Discussing the SDG 5 Pledge to Accelerate Gender Balance in the UAE Private Sector”, to discuss the incredibly positive impact of this initiative.
The seminar was held in the UAE pavilion at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where Mona Ghanem Al Marri, vice president of the UAE Gender Balance Council, and several officials of the UAE private sector companies that signed the pledge, in addition to global private sector leaders committed to the gender balance agenda, were in attendance. The pledge was officially launched early last year to achieve gender balance in the private sector and increase the percentage of women’s participation in leadership positions to 30 per cent by 2025.
The seminar was a vital platform for exchanging visions and ideas among the participants, including local and global private sector leaders – including discussions of the impact of this initiative, the value of working across sectors to embed gender balance at the organisation level and across the broader economy, and to unpack the effects of the incredible successes that are possible when government and the private sector work as equal partners to design solutions to complex gender balance challenges.
Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, president of the UAE Gender Balance Council and President of Dubai Women Establishment, wife of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, said that the organisation of the 7th Global Gender Circle that facilitated constructive discussions in this prominent forum in the world comes in light of the Council’s keenness to strengthen its international partnerships and highlight the tireless efforts of the UAE to enhance global communication, build trust and exchange knowledge with all countries of the world to promote gender balance and achieve sustainable development goals.
Sheikha Manal said: “Strategic partnerships between the government and the private sector are vital for achieving national goals at all levels, especially with its growing role as a significant driver of the global economy, and the role of the private sector is essential in achieving sustainable development – the inspiring goal of the ‘UAE private sector pledge to accelerate the 5th goal of sustainable development goals and enhance gender balance in the private sector is a model for the region and the world. We are happy to share this qualitative experience with the global private sector.”
She added: “Providing the full opportunity for women and gender balance in this sector plays a significant role in achieving economic prosperity and social and family stability and is a priority in the future and bold visions of the wise leadership and its keenness to consolidate flexible and advanced legislative structures that have made the UAE one of the preferred leading destinations for living and residence and attracting major international companies, making it a flexible, developed and more stable economic model in the face of global crises and future challenges.”
In her opening remarks, Al Marri shed light on the initiative, noting that it is a voluntary pledge by the UAE private sector and the result of two years of exchanging visions and ideas with the National Committee for Sustainable Development Goals on the best ways and practices to enhance balance.
She stressed the importance of the topics raised for discussion during the 7th session of the Global Gender Circle, which touched on the most prominent challenges of gender balance and exploring current and future opportunities to overcome them, noting that eliminating the obstacles to gender balance is a fundamental pillar for achieving economic prosperity and stability. Societal and sustainable growth, through the optimal investment of the capabilities of all members of society without prejudice or discrimination, which is what the UAE has worked on since its establishment and is currently being reinforced by the wise leadership with pioneering legislation and policies that consolidate the rights and gains of women in the labour market and their assumption of senior and leadership positions and enhance their representation in decision-making positions.
Al Marri said, “We are pleased that the companies that signed the pledge are meeting together in Davos, alongside additional leaders from global organisations committed to this agenda, as this represents an ideal opportunity to discuss the impact of this initiative and the value of joint work across various sectors to establish gender balance in each institution and across the broader economy, and to illustrate the implications of the successes that can be achieved when government and the private sector work as partners with a common goal.
Global Gender Circle
Sheikha Manal launched the “Global Gender Circle” initiative in 2017 as an inspiring platform to promote global dialogue on the best policies supporting gender balance at all levels and accelerate the pace of work to achieve the fifth goal of the sustainable development goals.
It is worth noting that the UAE ranked first in the Arab world in the Gender Gap Report 2022, issued by the World Economic Forum, and ranked first in the world in 5 sub-indicators within this report, namely: girls’ enrolment rate in primary education, girls’ enrolment rate in secondary education, girls’ enrolment rate in university education, the gender ratio at birth, and women’s parliamentary representation. The report indicated that the UAE is the best in the world in the representation of women in Parliament (where women represent 50 per cent of the number of members of the Federal National Council) and the percentage of ministerial representation in the state government (27.5 per cent) is one of the highest rates in the world.