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16 April 2024

Gender Balance Forum and Women in Government Forum to be held at the World Government Summit 2023 set to discuss new opportunities to advance the participation of women in government

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By Emirates247

Under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, President of the Dubai Women Establishment, and the wife of HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, the Gender Balance Forum and the Women in Government Forum will be held at the World Government Summit, set to take place in Dubai from 13-15 February. 

The two Forums will bring together thought leaders from across the region and the world to discuss new opportunities to advance gender balance and the participation of women in government. Both events will feature a rich dialogue between global leaders, public and private sector officials, and representatives of international organisations with expertise in developing gender policies.

Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said the two Forums have been designed to foster a rich sharing of perspectives on enhancing gender balance and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 related to gender balance and the empowerment of girls and women. Her Highness said the UAE is a global frontrunner in adopting and achieving the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, which were announced at the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 and incorporated into its strategic plans. 

Her Highness expressed her gratitude for the unlimited support extended by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to empower women and ensure their participation in the nation’s development journey. Following in the footsteps of the UAE’s founding father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who recognised very early that progress and prosperity are not possible without women’s development, the UAE’s leadership has created policies, structures and mechanisms to ensure the high participation of women in all spheres of life. 

HH Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed also praised the role played by the Mother of the Nation Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, in promoting the educational, social and professional advancement of women in the UAE.

The President of the UAE Gender Balance Council and President of Dubai Women Establishment, further said the World Government Summit provides the ideal global platform for sharing gender balance success stories from across the world and exploring new pathways to enhance the role of women in various sectors. "We look forward to generating new ideas at the Summit to advance gender balance regionally and globally and realising the leadership’s vision to unite global efforts to achieve sustainable development. Our goal is to both spark new global conversations on the role of women’s development and gender balance in sustainable development and strengthen the UAE’s role as a leading player in positively transforming the gender balance landscape both in the region and world.”

Her Highness noted that the UAE ranks 11th in the world and first in the Arab world in the Gender Inequality Index (GII) issued by the United Nations Development Program. It also ranks first in the Middle East and North Africa region in the Women, Business and the Law report issued by the World Bank and the Global Gender Gap Report issued by the World Economic Forum. Her Highness emphasised the UAE Gender Balance Council’s commitment to build on the UAE’s gender balance achievements in line with the vision and directives of the leadership.

Her Excellency Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development and the Future and Vice-Chair of the World Government Summit Organization said the Women in Government Forum will highlight the role of women in shaping the world’s future development agenda. The rich discussions at the event will also inspire a new generation of women leaders to participate in shaping the future of various sectors. 
"The Forum will shine the spotlight on the role of women in leading positive social and economic change and highlight their contributions to vital global issues such as sustainability, which is one of the key themes that will be discussed at the World Government Summit. The focus on sustainability assumes particular significance in the context of the UAE's hosting of COP 28, the global climate conference, and the announcement of 2023 as the year of sustainability. The Forum will also raise the profile of women role models who are exemplars of excellence in diverse fields.”

The third edition of the Women in Government Forum, to be held at WGS 2023, under the theme ‘Ready for Leadership: Shaping the Agenda for the Future’, provides a global platform for governments to pledge their support and solidify their commitment to empowering women. Bringing together 400 global women government leaders and 20 speakers, the Forum seeks to build a global network of women leaders in the public sector to support, nurture and mentor the new generation of women leaders.

Arab and international women government leaders participating in the Forum include HE Jessica Alupo, Vice President of the Republic of Uganda, HE Naglaa Boden, Prime Minister of Tunisia and the Arab world’s first female Prime Minister, HE Edi Rama, Prime Minister of Albania, HE Thea Tsulukiani, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture, Sport and Youth of Georgia, HE Mona Al Marri, Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, HE Dr. Rania Al Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation of Egypt, HE Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment of Egypt and Ministerial Coordinator and Envoy of the COP27 Climate Conference, HE Khadija Naseem, Minister of State for Environment, Climate Change and Technology of the Maldives, and HE Razan Al Mubarak, Managing Director, Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi and Climate Pioneer at COP28.

Her Excellency Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, said that the Council’s participation in the World Government Summit reflects the UAE’s commitment to building on the significant progress it has achieved in advancing gender balance. “Right from the time of the UAE’s formation in 1971, the country’s leaders have placed the highest importance on promoting gender balance and creating an environment in which women can play a significant role in shaping the economic and social landscape. The fact that the UAE has come so far in this agenda today is a reflection of the leadership’s unwavering commitment to gender balance based on a comprehensive vision for women’s development and empowerment. The government’s unwavering commitment to gender balance has enabled the UAE to achieve top rankings in global competitiveness indices.”

Her Excellency further said the Gender Balance Forum to be held at the World Government Summit 2023 reflects the country's commitment to be a global and regional role model in advancing gender balance. The discussions at the Forum will generate a wealth of insights on new directions, mechanisms and initiatives that can help close the gender balance gap worldwide. The Gender Balance Forum will look at ways to deepen partnerships between the government and the private sector to advance the economic empowerment of women and overcome the challenges they face, she added.

Prominent public and private sector leaders participating in the Gender Balance Forum include Ferid Belhaj, Vice President of the World Bank for the Middle East and North Africa; Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum, Haoliang Xu, Assistant Secretary-General and Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support at the United Nations Development Programme, Margery Kraus, Founder and Executive Chairman of APCO Worldwide, Her Excellency Hala Badri, Director General of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority; Matthew Lewis, Managing Director of Russell Reynolds Associates, and Elena Siegel, Partner, Kearney. 
The Gender Balance Forum will look at ways to deepen partnerships between the government and the private sector to promote the economic empowerment of women and overcome the challenges they face, Al Marri added.