International Acknowledgement of the UAE’s Leadership Empowering Emirati Women

  • 29 April 2014

A major study conducted by the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council, recently ranked the United Arab Emirates number one in the world on the index of treatment of women with respect. This is an international acknowledgement of the UAE leadership encouraging Emirati women participation at all levels. The UAE has not achieved such a position for the first time, which goes on to show the position women occupy in the country.

The UAE leads the Middle East and North Africa in having the narrowest gender gap, according to the Global Gender Gap Report 2013. In a survey conducted by Al Masah Capital 2013 on companies run by businesswomen in the UAE, the ratio of successful companies owned by women was higher than those in the United States. In the Arabian Business list of 100 most powerful Arab women, 20 percent were Emirati businesswomen in the year 2011. All these results affirm the merit of Emirati women in workplace all over the country.

This privileged position is not an isolated phenomenon but has come due to unequivocal support of the leadership, headed by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (may God protect him), who believes in the need to strengthen the role of women in society, and enhancing their capabilities so that they participate across all fields. This is consistent with the country’s phase of empowerment, which aims to maximize participation of all segments of the UAE society, particularly women, in the process of development.

The emancipation of Emirati women is the result of considerable and sustained efforts, led by Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood (Mother of the Nation), for several years. These efforts have enabled women and strengthened their potential, thereby contributing to their empowerment in comprehensive and sustainable development operations.

The UAE presents an enabling model for women and has exceeded many countries in terms of acknowledgment in the Constitution on gender equality and women enjoying the same rights and duties, including the right to education, work, getting equal pay, the right to own property running businesses, and other legislative means to ensure their constitutional rights. On a practical level, UAE women have become a key partner in the development of the society and are present effectively in various fields of national action.

In the UAE, women can be found in key positions such as ministers, members of the Federal National Council, judge, and diplomats. They have played an influential role in the overall development of the country by participating alongside men in various workplaces. Undoubtedly, this has had immense impact on the capability of Emirati women, and their active and influential presence in Arab, regional and international arenas.