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Women empowered
December 02, 2017
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During the year, the United Arab Emirates continued to achieve success in terms of the empowerment of women, with one key highlight late in the year being the addition of yet more women to the Cabinet. 29 per cent of all Ministers are now women. Some of the other major developments of the year are:

The UAE Gender Balance Council launched the ‘Gender Balance Guide: Good Practices for UAE Organisations’, a comprehensive set of guidelines and concrete actions aimed at helping UAE organisations adopt a gender-sensitive approach at their workplaces.

MARCH 10: The UAE achieved another milestone in the area of women’s empowerment by leading the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in a Gender Progress Index (GPI) released by INSEAD, a top business school. The findings of the index were discussed at a seminar marking International Women’s Day at the INSEAD Middle East Campus in Abu Dhabi.

JULY 16: The UAE General Women’s Union launched an updated website for the Emirati Women’s Day celebrations on 28th August, under the theme, “Women are Partners in Giving”.

JULY 22: It was reported that the UAE has the highest number of women on the Forbes Middle East list of the ‘Top 100 Most Powerful Arab Businesswomen 2017’ list with 18, followed closely by Egypt with 16. Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, then Minister of State for Tolerance, also retained her top position in the ‘10 most powerful women in government’ list.

AUGUST 23: It was announced that the total number of Emirati women investing at Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, ADX, had reached 219,000 by the end of June 2017, holding 3 billion shares worth AED18.8 billion. The total value of trades on the ADX by Emirati female investors reached AED2.7 billion during the first half of the year, a19.4 percent increase compared with the first half of 2016.

AUGUST 27: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said the number of national females working at the ministry’s premises has increased to 175 in addition to 42 women serving in diplomatic missions abroad.

AUGUST 29: It was reported that Emirati women have contributed 600,000 hours of field and online voluntary activities in the last seven years under the Zayed Giving Initiative (ZGI).

SEPTEMBER 15: Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, the UAE Permanent Representative to the United Nations, UN, in Geneva, presented the UAE’s gender equality model at the 36th session of the Human Rights Council, as part of an annual discussion on integrating gender perspectives.

SEPTEMBER 20: UN Women and the Global Partnerships Forum, GPF, presented the Agent of Change Award to 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, in recognition of her contributions and achievements in areas of women’s empowerment and gender equality in the UAE and beyond.

SEPTEMBER 24: The UAE General Women’s Union and the UN Women Gulf Liaison Office in New York, signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, to strengthen cooperation and technical assistance between the two sides. The MoU was signed on the sidelines of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The UAE announced its intention to donate $15 million to support UN Women over the next three years. The announcement was made during a meeting between H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed and the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.

OCTOBER 3: The Arab Women Investors Union honoured 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, at an Arab League ceremony.

The 137th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, IPU, in St Petersburg, Russia, praised the UAE’s support for its international humanitarian efforts and its future vision of women’s and youth empowerment, describing the UAE as a centre of creativity and innovation.


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