UAE's constitution enshrines the principle of equality between genders, says Lubna Al Qasimi

Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance, emphasised that the UAE’s constitution has enshrined the principle of equality between the genders, making women an essential part of all work sectors, fields, and specialties.

This statement came during her speech at the Chatham House International Policy Forum held in London on Tuesday. She confirmed the efforts made to ensure the empowerment of Emirati women, following the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The Minister of State for Tolerance highlighted the attention given to Emirati woman and to Arab women in general by H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood,She has arranged all the necessary provisions to enable women to fulfil their national responsibility.

She also underlined the economic position of women in the UAE, clarifying that they play an active role in the country’s development. In the economic sector, for example, more than 23,000 business women hold a collective investment exceeding US$10 billion. On the political front, there are eight ministers representing a third of the seats in the cabinet. The Federal National Council is chaired by a woman, with 20 percent of its membership consisting of women.

She added that women in the UAE form 47 percent of the workforce, with a strong presence of Emirati women in nearly every sector, as women form 66 percent of the public sector,40 percent of the education sector, 35 percent of health, and 20 percent of the public affairs sector. She confirmed that the UAE has a national strategy in place to empower women. Its Gender Balance Council works to develop policies that support women and implements them in the best possible manner. It also works to equalise opportunities between men and women for leadership and decision-making positions.

She mentioned the decree introducing a mandatory female presence in the boardrooms of the nation’s authorities, companies, and organisations, which was issued in 2012.This is in addition to the presence of the General Women’s Union, which has since 1975 been the leading organisation working to enrich the role of Emirati woman in various fields.

She pointed out the UAE’s international role in protecting women and empowering them through its international aid strategy, which aims to achieve equality between the genders and strengthen the role of women on the global stage through its partnership with the UN.