Hanan Mansour Ahli (centre), head of the UAE Gender Balance Council delegation, at the G20 Ministerial Conference on Women’s Empowerment in Gujarat, India Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The UAE participated in the G20 Ministerial Conference on Women’s Empowerment held in Gujarat, India, from August 2 to 4, under the theme ‘Women led Inclusive Development as Cusp of Inter-Generational Transformation’. The UAE also participated in the meetings of the G20 Empower on August 1.

The UAE Gender Balance Council represented the UAE at the two events - which dealt with many issues related to women and the importance of enhancing their role in all fields - in response to an official invitation from India, which chairs the current session of G20.

Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of UAE Gender Balance Council, wife of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, affirmed the UAE’s commitment to involving the international community in its successful journey in gender balance.

She added that the UAE, within the framework of its permanent cooperative approach, welcomes cooperation and exchange of knowledge and innovation with members of the G20 and international partners to develop strategies that work to advance gender balance in the region and the world.

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Sheikha Manal also praised the efforts of the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in highlighting the UAE’s achievements in the field of gender balance in international forums and the active contribution of the Ministry to strengthening the global partnerships of the Council through its diplomatic mission in various countries of the world and international organisations. Her Highness also praised the efforts of the G20 Empowerment Committee, which contributed to creating strong relations between member countries and commitments to new solutions and complex challenges.

She said: “As we approach the organisation of the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties [COP 28], which the UAE will host from November 30 to December 12, the country attaches utmost importance to bringing women into the heart of the global decision-making process.”

Review of progress

The Council’s delegation, headed by Hanan Mansour Ahli, member of the UAE Gender Balance Council, director-general of the Competitiveness Sector at the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, and the participation of Ayat Al Salmi, senior project manager in the UAE GBC, shared UAE’s gender balance strategy and discussed with representatives of several participating countries and organisations opportunities to promote collaborations at the level of the countries of the group.

Hanan delivered the UAE’s speech at the Ministerial Conference on Empowerment, during which she emphasised that advancing gender balance is a long-term priority for the UAE and that women play a vital role in achieving prosperity and stability and actively contribute to sustainable economic growth.

In a main discussion panel that explored the dynamic relationship between the economy, culture, and women’s empowerment, Hanan emphasised the vital role of gender-disaggregated data in the UAE’s ambitious Gender Balance Strategy for 2026. The UAE has implemented a Gender Responsive Budgeting pilot programme which utilises gender and population data to identify opportunities to reallocate financing and establish new initiatives aimed at supporting, equipping, and funding women entrepreneurs.

Gender Balance Index

In her speech, Hanan also referred to the Gender Balance Index awards that are presented annually to certain categories that support gender balance at the government level, and the SDG 5 Pledge to Accelerate Gender Balance in the UAE Private Sector, to which many major companies operating in various economic fields have joined and supported them in the entrepreneurial sector.