Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development headed the UAE delegation in the ministerial meeting about Women Empowerment at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Cairo, Egypt.
During the meeting, she emphasized that women empowerment in their community is one of the main conditions that contributed to the achievement of sustainable development and gender equality, one of the important goals of sustainable development of 2030 plan in the United Arab Emirates. Strengthening the role of women and her leading position come through a true wise government that believes in women’s entitlement to share leadership positions with men as well as the availability of legislations that that allow women to empower leadership roles.
At her speech, Buhumaid highlighted the successful experiences and initiatives of the United Arab Emirates in the empowerment of women in various fields, positions and leadership roles, beginning from the belief of the UAE wise leadership in women entitlement to occupy leadership positions without any restrictions, this was represented in the personality of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who strengthened women participation in leadership positions at all fields.
She referred to another leading personality in the UAE, H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak "Mother of the Nation", Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation and President of Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, who strongly supported the empowerment of women and their leading and development role in the UAE.
Buhumaid noted that the unlimited support of the "Mother of the Nation" and empowerment of women in all fields and her Highness establishment of the national strategy for the empowerment and leadership of women in the UAE 2015-2021 (empowerment, participation and leadership) to maintain the sustainability of women in all areas, to continue building the capacity of women to ensure the development of the country and enhance her leadership and responsibility to enhance the status of women in regional and international events.
She also mentioned that women in the UAE society presided in the Federal National Council, highest legislative authority in the UAE, with a participation raising till 22,5%. His Highness the President also issued a decree to increase the participation of women in the Council starting of the next session to 50%, not forgetting that the percentage of women participation in the Cabinet has reached 29%, in decision making leadership positions up to 33%; government authorities management up to 15% while in the diplomatic corps up to 10%.
She added that the United Arab Emirates had created a legislative environment to provide women with excellent employment opportunities, as such, the participation of women in the public sector reached 66%, national workforce 25%, entrepreneurship 15%, and small and medium sized projects 30%. As for women’s savings it amounted to AED 50 million while the proportion of projects owned by women and their income exceeds $100,000 reaching 33%.
Buhumaid also mentioned the approval of the Cabinet in December 2018 in it’s the exceptional session held at the headquarters of the General Women’s Union and chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to announce new legislations, policies and national initiatives for Emirati women based on 3 pillars: legislations and policies, services, international representation, increasing the number of their representation in diplomatic corps, UAE missions and international organizations, increasing their participation in judicial work.
The also included developing the national policy on the entrepreneurship of Emirati women such as providing women with license for business leadership and entrepreneurship, a study proposal about "Gender Policy and Gender Equality" to enhance gender equality worldwide in cooperation with the International Monetary Fund to establish the best international standards and practices, in addition, to raising the percentage of women ambassadors in the diplomatic corps and international representation, appointment of gender equality ambassadors in the United Nations, an initiative to highlight the Emirati experience and government efforts in the empowerment of women and gender equality in all fields, a study of peace ambassadors through the official UN mandate program "Women in peacekeeping operations" and another proposal to include Emirati women in international peace keeping missions.
The Cabinet also announced on 2015 the establishment of the gender balance council, a government council aimed for ensuring that Emirati women continue to play a leading role in the development of the country, achieve gender balance in all public sectors, promote gender balance in decision-making positions and contribute to greater gender balance which will reflect the leadership’s commitment to enhancing the role and contribution of women in building the nation’s future.