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17 April 2024

UAE Gender Balance Council participates in UN Security Council and GCC meetings

Published
By E247

The UAE Gender Balance Council participated in key meetings and sessions held at the 68th session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York, including a meeting of the UN Security Council, and a session on women’s empowerment in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, jointly organised by the GCC and the UAE.

This active engagement  of the Council in these meetings is in line with the directives of Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council (UAE GBC), wife of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Presidential Court, to strengthen the Council’s global partnerships. These efforts also support the worldwide initiative to accelerate the achievement of the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, with a particular focus on Goal 5, which is dedicated to empowering all women and girls. The UAE has been at the forefront of formulating and adopting these goals, demonstrating its commitment to promoting gender equality on both a local and global scale.

Women, security and peace
Her Excellency Mona Al Marri, Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, participated in the UN Security Council Arria-Formula meeting focused on strengthening cooperation between the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Women, Peace and Security Framework.

In her address, Her Excellency Mona Al Marri emphasised the UAE’s strong commitment to leveraging the key principles of the international framework for women, peace, and security to ensure the protection of women's rights and foster their full, equal, and meaningful participation in both public and private sectors. Further, she stressed the importance of creating a flexible and sustainable international framework for safeguarding and promoting women's rights globally. 

She noted the significant contributions of the Security Council Informal Experts Group on Women, Peace and Security (IEG), which the UAE and Switzerland chaired last year. The IEG effectively incorporated essential elements of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women into its country-specific discussions, offering an opportunity to further leverage synergies between the Convention and the Women, Peace, and Security framework. She stressed the importance of linking these documents with the Sustainable Development Goals, enabling governments working towards the 2030 Agenda to align and coordinate their efforts and commitments across these frameworks.

Her Excellency touched on the efforts of the UAE in this regard. In 2017, the UAE established a national committee for sustainable development goals to implement the 2030 plan at the national level. She emphasised that the current session and its productive discussions once again demonstrate that the international community has laid down a robust framework. This foundation is essential for promoting the full, equal, and meaningful engagement of women in social roles.

GCC achievements 
The UAE Gender Balance Council participated in a high-level session sponsored by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) under the title ‘Closing the Gap: Women's Empowerment in the GCC Region’, which focused on the progress achieved by countries in the region in the field of gender balance and women’s empowerment, as well as challenges and future trends. The meeting, which featured several inspiring female personalities, provided an opportunity to highlight the tremendous advancements witnessed in the GCC region in the field of women’s empowerment. It also provided a platform for sharing expertise and experiences between them.

During the session, Her Excellency Mona Al Marri remarked: "Thanks to the insightful vision of our wise leadership, women in the UAE have received considerable support, propelling the nation to a leading global position in gender balance." She highlighted the pivotal role played by Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, (Mother of the Nation), President of the General Women's Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, in championing women's empowerment through numerous national programmes and targeted initiatives aimed at ensuring equitable opportunities in education, employment, and various other domains.

The Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council highlighted the council’s major achievements and the key projects it has implemented since its establishment in 2015 to enhance gender balance in all sectors of the country. She also noted the council’s efforts to develop principles and policies to prevent gender-based violence through digital applications, as well as a draft policy for gender balance in the Fourth Industrial Revolution era and a gender-responsive federal budget.

An integrated care programme for women and girls
During the session, Her Excellency Mona Al Marri highlighted the UAE’s experience in supporting and empowering women. She stressed that the UAE, since its founding, has laid solid foundations to ensure the empowerment of women and girls under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, (Mother of the Nation), President of the General Women's Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation. The implementation of many national programmes and specific initiatives focused on granting women their full right to obtain education and balanced and fair opportunities in all fields are evidence of this robust foundation.

She said: “The UAE is committed to pursuing a comprehensive programme aimed at supporting women and girls, particularly the most vulnerable groups such as low-income women, widows, divorcees, the elderly, and people of determination. Legislative updates and policy implementations have been prioritised to strengthen family cohesion and ensure access to opportunities without compromising their vital roles within their families."

Furthermore, she highlighted the UAE's dedication to achieving social balance through innovative initiatives like the UAE Gender Balance Council. This council collaborates with government and private entities to develop programmes, strategies, and initiatives to attain optimal gender balance across various sectors, fostering effective partnerships for sustainable progress.

The Vice President of the UAE Council for Gender Balance discussed key achievements and ongoing projects since its inception in 2015 under the leadership of Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The council's efforts are focused on establishing gender balance within both government and private sectors nationally. Notable projects include developing principles and policies to combat gender-based violence through digital platforms, drafting policies to address gender balance in the Fourth Industrial Revolution era, and formulating a gender-responsive federal budget.

Cooperation with UN Women
On the sidelines of the 68th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, Her Excellency Mona Al Marri met with Sima Sami Bahous, Executive Director of UN Women. They explored cooperation to enhance gender balance and ways to overcome the challenges associated with advancing women’s empowerment in order to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal 5 to empower all women and girls worldwide.