UAE women empowerment
Image for illustrative purpose only Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai aims to be a pioneering model for women-friendly cities and a strategy to achieve this has been launched by the Dubai Women Establishment (DWE).

DWA has launched its new strategic plan for 2023-2027 to support women and consolidate their participation in the development process in all fields.

The plan is in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai who considers the human resources as a main priority. It also follows the directives of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, to upgrade the government work system in accordance to the best international practices to enhance Dubai’s competitive position, includes three strategic pillars.

The pillars include creating an enabling environment for women in the labour market, developing women leaders, and enhancing the quality of life for women in society.

Through these pillars, DWE seeks to achieve its vision of “Dubai as a pioneering model for women-friendly cities”.

To achieve this, DWE plans to implement relevant projects and qualitative initiatives in cooperation with the authorities concerned in the emirate ranging from the public and private sectors, and also global partners.

The plan benefits from the unlimited support provided by the UAE’s wise leadership, the supportive legislative structure and the effective policies, which reflects the Establishment’s commitment to continue its support, and increasing its social and economic influence and strengthening its presence across global platforms.

Creative vision

Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Women Establishment, wife of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, said: “At a time when the UAE is preparing to embark on a new journey of prosperity, we announce the launch of the Dubai Women Establishment’s 2023 – 2027 strategic plan, which incorporates a creative vision to make Dubai a pioneering model for women-friendly cities.

“The strategic goals align with the directives of Sheikh Mohammed to advance women’s participation in various fields and provide them with the needed contentment. This aligns with His Highness’ keenness to invest in people as the real capital to lead development and growth, especially [since] women have demonstrated their efficiency and highly contributed over the past 50 years with their dedication to the economic and social prosperity of the UAE and its global prestige.”

Supportive approach

Sheikha Manal pointed out that the UAE was founded on a supportive approach towards women and benefits from their capabilities as a main contributor across all development paths.

The Dubai Women Establishment was created in 2006 by a decree of Sheikh Mohammed and is an example of the unlimited support provided by the UAE’s leadership to women and their active presence in various fields.

Sheikha Manal affirmed that the new strategic plan aligns with the vision of the Dubai government in providing a friendly and conducive environment for women, whether they are citizens, residents or visitors, thus enhancing the competitiveness of Dubai as a city suitable for living - not only for women, but for society as a whole.

She stressed that Dubai already has many practices that make it friendly to women in terms of policies and services of all kinds.

Sheikha Manal indicated that the new strategy of DWE builds on the results of the past five-year work plan, which witnessed many achievements in the field of supporting women, enhancing their participation and influence in social, economic and political life, and increasing their representation in leadership positions. In order to move forward towards developing the economy of Dubai and enhancing its competitiveness globally.

She affirmed that the new strategic plan focuses on contributing to the strengthening of supporting legislation and policies, consolidating partnerships and allowing women to influence locally and globally through their prominent economic and social role and their effective presence in international platforms such as conferences and forums. The strategy also includes performance indicators and methodologies for continuous development.

Future needs

Mona Ghanem Al Marri

Mona Ghanem Al Marri, chairperson of the Board of Directors and managing director of the Dubai Women Establishment, said that the strategic plan 2023-2027, in addition to its focus on supporting women professionally and economically and upskilling their functional and leadership capabilities, emphasizes all the elements that guarantee the quality women’s lives and achieving a balance between the requirements of work and social life.

The strategy will also focus on the future opportunities in the labour market, in order to attract women to all sectors, in addition to providing consultations and building a knowledge centre for best international practices related to women empowerment.

Al Marri highlighted the components of the new strategy, highlighting that it includes specific mechanisms to implement its main objectives and themes.

The pillars

Starting with the first pillar, creating an enabling environment for women in the labour market, where it will be achieved by contributing to strengthening the legislative environment and ensuring its application to meet the future needs of women. It will also provide incentives and the mechanisms necessary to adopt and implement new ideas related to women’s entrepreneurship, with a focus on identifying future opportunities and fields of work for women, and determining the skills required.

The second pillar, developing women leaders, will be achieved through continuous efforts to build and enhance leadership competencies and skills to increase women’s representation and promote their participation in leadership positions that enable them to achieve their aspirations and achieve gender balance in society. Additionally, the plan incorporates implementing projects and initiatives that support the external representation of women such as in boards of directors on a global level, while also focusing on the technical skills needed for new job opportunities, keeping pace with the fourth industrial revolution.

Al Marri stated that the third strategic pillar related to enhancing the quality of women’s life in society, will be achieved through several mechanisms. The foremost of this is ensuring the efficiency of implementing federal and local policies and legislation that support women, putting forward initiatives and creating practices that support work-life balance and bettering women’s quality of life.

read more

Qualitative initiatives

Shamsa Saleh

Shamsa Saleh, member of the Board of Directors and CEO of the Dubai Women Establishment, said that the strategic plan 2023-2027 features a number of new qualitative initiatives that will be implemented according to a timeline. They will have a significant impact in achieving the strategic pillars and objectives, and the implementation will be evaluated according to performance indicators.

She referred to a number of these initiatives, including the “Dubai’s Pioneering Model for Women-Friendly Cities”, where standards will be developed for this global model, and the “Dubai leadership” initiative at the level of the Dubai government, with the aim of increasing the commitment of Dubai’s corporate government leadership to support women and the gender balance agenda.

She also mentioned the “Women on Global Boards” initiative in addition to the “Innovation Incubators” initiative, which includes developing and activating a framework that supports innovation, applying all creative and developmental ideas related to women and encouraging participation in them; attracting young pioneers in their field of work and highlighting them as promising talents.

The plan also includes an initiative to encourage women’s participation in local and global competitive indexes, and an initiative which focuses on cultural heritage, in line with Dubai’s strategy and the call of Sheikh Mohammed to preserve the Emirati cultural heritage. The initiative will focus on linking the cultural heritage to women, in addition to other initiatives that support achieving the strategic objectives of the plan.