UAE leads countries advocating women’s rights at the global level.
The UAE is ranked as a leading country in gender equality in the region, according to the World Economic Forum in Global gender Gap report 2020. This achievement comes from the fundamental belief that women and men are equal partners in society. Through a series of public and private sector initiatives, women are playing an increasingly stronger role in business, military, and government.
The United Arab Emirates is at the forefront of the countries advocating women’s rights at the global level through a series of initiatives and programmes aimed at supporting and empowering women in many societies and countries.
Gender equality is of paramount importance in the UAE, and the Constitution of the UAE guarantees equal rights for both men and women. Under the Constitution, women enjoy the same legal status, claim to titles, access to education, right to Vote , the right to practice professions, and the right to inherit property as men. Women are also guaranteed the same access to employment, health, and family welfare facilities. As a leader of equality in economics, government, education and health, the UAE has been named one of the region’s pioneers.
The UAE tops advanced ranks on many global indicators related to supporting women’s rights and empowerment, as well as its unprecedented achievement globally in achieving equality in parliamentary representation during the 16th legislative chapter of the Federal National Council.
On the UAE’s efforts supporting women at the global level, the initiatives, and efforts of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union (GWU), President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF), should be highlighted first as Sheikha Fatima is considered the first champion of women worldwide thanks to her efforts in this field. sponsored, presided over and supported a group of specialised conferences in the Arab, for quite a long time, she has sponsored presided and supported , conferences in Arab and international and Islamic worlds to empower women and enhance their stature.
In October 2019 Federal National Council has launched the ‘Arab Document on Women’s Rights in the UAE’ in cooperation with the Arab Parliament, in appreciation of the pioneering role of the UAE and its record of civilizational achievements in the process of empowering women. let us take a look over the history that how this initiative made its place in the UAE.
Since the establishment of the UAE federation in 1971, the UAE has been keen to join international conventions on women’s issues and protecting their rights, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in 2004, the Convention on Working Hours in Industry in 1982, and the Forced Labour Convention in 1982, the International Convention on Labour Inspection in Industry and Trade in 1982, the Night Work (Women) Convention in 1982, the Convention concerning Equal Remuneration for Men and Women Workers for Work of Equal Value in 1996, and the Abolition of Forced Labour Convention in 1996 And the Convention on Minimum Age for Admission to Employment, in 1996.
Let us review the women strength sector by sector.
- Education is considered essential for women’s economic empowerment, and according to the World Economic Forum 2014 report on the gender gap, the UAE has been able to achieve equality between men and women in educational attainment 7% of Emirati women enroll in higher education after secondary school and makeup 70% of all university graduates in the UAE.
- 56% of UAE government university graduates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are women.
- The literacy rate of women in the UAE is 95.8%.
- In September 2014, the UAE opened the region’s first military college for women, Khawla bint Al Azwar Military School. The state-of-the-art military college provides world-class training, physical fitness sessions and leadership development. The UAE has four women fighter pilots and has also trained over 30 women to work with the country’s special security forces.
Moreover , in 2018 A presidential decree mandating equal pay for men and women in the private sector was passed .
The new law stated that “female employees shall receive wages equal to that of males if they perform the same work or another of equal value.”
UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan issued a decree to implement the new legislation, which was first approved by the country’s cabinet in 2018.In Article 32 of Federal Law No 08 of 1980 regarding the regulation of labour relations will be amended to the effect to reinforce gender equality in terms of wages and salaries in the private sector.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization said the new law elevated the country’s regional and international reputation in gender equality.
A World Economic Forum report published earlier this year claimed the UAE was a regional leader in bridging the gender pay gap.
Later federal decree-law No. 6 for 2020, was passed with the provisions of the federal law no. 8 for 1980 on the regulation of labor relations, stipulating article 32 to be replaced and a new article No. 74 to be added. The new article stipulates that a private sector employee be granted a paid parental leave for men ,leave for five working days to look after his baby, effective from the baby’s date of birth until he is 6 months old. Apparently, it seems that this for men , But UAE rulers gave a comforting cushion to the new mom by giving the father a leave so that her partner is around at the time which is really sensitive . So thoughtful right !!
While focusing on the percentage of women in the work field how can we forget about women serving in the government sector.
- Nine women serve in the UAE Cabinet.
- Women comprise 50% of the Federal National Council (FNC)
- In November 2015, Dr Amal Al Qubaisi was appointed President of the FNC, making her the first woman in the region to lead a national assembly.
- Women make up 20% of the diplomatic corps, and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has appointed seven Emirati women as ambassadors to represent the country internationally.
- And the last but not least, In the recent UAE Space mission commonly named as UAE “Hope Probe” is led by an Emirati lady named Sarah Al Amiri, she is the youngest minister who is behind UAE Mars mission .
Composed by Sheher Bano