H.H. Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council and wife of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, has announced that the UAE Gender Balance Council is currently working on new legislation that will further strengthen the UAE’s achievements and enhance its global competitiveness in gender balance.
Sheikha Manal said that the efforts of the UAE Gender Balance Council, in collaboration with related government entities, are in line with its mandate to review and propose legislation that supports equal opportunities and narrows the gender gap across all sectors. The Council’s objective is to support the achievement of the wise leadership’s vision and directives to fortify the UAE’s position across global competitive indicators and establish the country as a role model for gender balance legislation in the region.
H.H. further emphasised the importance of strengthened cooperation among related government entities in the UAE, as well as partnerships with international institutions and organisations pioneering in the field of gender balance. Further collaboration will build on the various accomplishments of the UAE Gender Balance Council, achieved through numerous initiatives and projects launched over the past three years, as per the objective set by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to establish the UAE as one of the world’s top countries for gender balance.
She highlighted the Council’s commitment to exchanging knowledge and exploring the best global practices to promote gender balance. This is in line with the objectives of the UAE Vision 2021 and the country’s national agenda, which include enhancing the economic participation of women and providing equal opportunities for both genders in the sustainable development process.
Sheikha Manal praised the exemplary efforts of both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Ministry of Finance in support of gender balance, highlighting the entities as role models for governmental cooperation in achieving national goals. Her Highness also discussed the Ministry of Finance’s important role in promoting the nation’s accomplishments in gender balance and organising the Council’s meetings with the European Parliament delegation in Dubai.
She acknowledged the collaboration between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the UAE Embassy in Belgium in coordinating Council meetings with Belgian policymakers and European Union representatives in Brussels. Her Highness also noted the Ministry of Finance’s efforts in incorporating gender balance principles within its overall strategy as well as its cooperation with the Council in organising recent discussion sessions both locally and internationally. Furthermore, Her Highness highlighted the steps taken by the Ministry to increase female participation in various leadership positions to achieve national economic and social development goals.
The UAE Gender Balance Council held its first official meeting of 2018, chaired by the Council’s Vice President, Mona Al Marri, at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Mona Al Marri outlined the achievements for the first quarter of the year and presented the Council’s strategic action plan moving forward on both a local and international scale. She also noted that the first quarter of the year has seen extensive efforts in directing governmental budgets and allocating resources to support women and further the gender balance agenda on a global scale.
The meeting also included a discussion regarding the initiatives and projects outlined in the comprehensive strategic plan, some of which were proposed during the annual meetings of UAE’s Federal Government in September 2017. The Council also reviewed the nation’s achievements across global gender balance indicators and the importance of continuing efforts in this area.
During the meeting, Abdullah Lootah, Member of the UAE Gender Balance Council and Director-General of UAE’s Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, outlined the steps required for the UAE to become one of the world’s leading countries across gender balance indicators. He also highlighted the most effective improvements and constructive partnerships to fulfil the fifth goal of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals 2030, ‘achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’.
The Council also discussed the UAE’s increased ranking across gender balance indicators in numerous 2017 global reports. The UAE was ranked first worldwide in three indicators, including ‘property rights between genders’ in the Prosperity Index by Legatum Institute, ‘literacy rate’ in the Global Gender Gap Report by the World Economic Forum, and ‘secondary enrolment gender gap’ in the Human Capital Report by the World Economic Forum.
The Council’s first meeting of 2018 was attended by Abdullah Lootah, Director-General of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority; Dr. Abdul Rahman Al Awar, Director-General of the Federal Authority of Government Human Resources; Abdullah Bin Ahmed Al Saleh, Under-Secretary for Foreign Trade and Industry at the UAE Ministry of Economy; Reem Al Falasi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood; Sana Mohammed Suhail, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Community Development; Dr. Abdullah Hamdan Al Naqbi, Director of the Legal Affairs Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Huda Al Hashimi, Assistant Director-General for Strategy and Innovation at the Prime Minister’s Office; and Shamsa Saleh, Secretary-General of the Gender Balance Council.