His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, expressed his satisfaction with the UAE government’s significant progress in achieving gender balance, through the several initiatives and programmes undertaken by various government entities to promote equal opportunities for both men and women.
His Highness said that this progress, which is in line with the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s vision, establishes gender balance as an integral principle towards a sustainable nation.
His Highness said that the UAE, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the close follow up of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has strengthened its global competitiveness and steadily progressed to achieve leadership in every sphere through the efforts of its citizens.
"The achievements of Emirati women today reaffirm the wise vision of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who believed in the importance of the role of women, and their right to work and become key partners in society," Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid continued.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum honoured the winners of the federal government's Gender Balance Index in its second round of 2018 in three categories: Best Personality Supporting Gender Balance, Best Federal Authority Supporting Gender Balance, and the Best Gender Balance Initiative.
His Highness honoured H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, as the 'Best Personality Supporting Gender Balance'.
Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan was selected in this category for his efforts to enhance the participation of women in the UAE military, which has the highest percentage of participation in the Arab world, and for his role in supporting the amendment of the decision of maternal leave for women in the military, as well as providing equal opportunities for men and women and creating a supportive environment for both.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid praised Sheikh Saif bin Zayed and his team for their efforts in supporting women in the nation’s military, adding that Sheikh Saif's initiatives over the past few years have extensively supported Emirati women in all fields.
The Ministry of Finance, MoF, received the award in the category of 'Best Government Entity Supporting Gender Balance' at a ministerial level.
The award was received by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, on the Ministry’s behalf.
The category of 'Best Federal Entity Supporting Gender Balance' at an institutional level was awarded to the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority (FCSA) and received by Abdulla Nasser Lootah, Director General of FCSA.
The 'Best Initiative Supporting Gender Balance' was awarded to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation for its ‘Remote Employment’ initiative, and was received by Nasser bin Thani Al Hamli, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation.
His Highness also expressed his appreciation for the sincere efforts and continuous care that H.H. 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, offers and the constant encouragement Her Highness gives to Emirati women to learn and develop.
His Highness also recognised the efforts of the Gender Balance Council, headed by H.H. Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, wife of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
The Council was praised for its exceptional projects that helped achieve the nation’s goals of gender balance. It was also lauded for launching several international initiatives, which reflect the UAE's commitment to actively contribute to global efforts in achieving Goal 5 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 2030: ‘Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.’ Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid affirmed the government’s continuous support to transforming the UAE into a leader in gender balance, regionally and globally.
Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed expressed her deepest thanks to the nation’s leadership for their support for advancing gender balance, which enabled the Council to achieve its goal. Targets were set in 2015 to reduce the gender gap across all sectors.
Her Highness also expressed her thanks to all government entities in the country for their contribution and congratulated the winners in each category.