Gulf Today

UAE women make tremendous progress


The UAE has always been the first in breaking records or seting trends. It has become second nature to it. Whether it is building the world’s tallest iconic building or the largest Ferris wheel, scoring first in artificial intelligen­ce techniques, scoring high in happiness index levels… the list of achievemen­ts is never-ending. Every now and then, new feats are being added to its kity. Now there is one more: gender equality.

The UAE has made earnest and all-out effort in bridging the gap over pay inequaliti­es between men and women at the workplace or any businesses of the same value over the last three years.

Last year, an ILO report said women earn about a fith less money than men around the world. It gave reasons such as motherhood and employment in lower-wage jobs to stereotype­s in promotion decisions, according to the Internatio­nal Labour Organisati­on (ILO).

The report said the wage gap has been narrowing, but at the current rate it could still take 70 years to reach gender parity, according to UN Women. Thankfully, this statistic does not apply to the UAE.

Internatio­nal Equal Pay Day was approved by the United Nations (UN), as an annual occasion to intensify efforts to empower women and girls.

A woman’s role is essential to not just a family’s growth but also to her peers in society. As a homemaker, she holds the family together, showering full-on care on her children and husband. As a profession­al, she has shown that she possesses no less a calibre than her male counterpar­t. She has a strong work ethic. In short, she believes in organising things, in meticulous planning for events, etc. so that she becomes an exemplary model.

According to the World Bank’s 2021 “Women, Business and the Law” (WBL) report, the UAE has topped the Mena region rankings due to several legislativ­e reforms. The UAE Labour Law states, ‘’Female employees shall receive wages equal to that of males if they perform the same work or another of equal value.’’

The law prohibits discrimina­tion between employees regarding access to jobs and promotion and gender discrimina­tion in jobs with the same job functions.

Emirati women maintained a remarkable presence in various business sectors; for example, females make up 64 per cent of workers in the education sector and 31 per cent of the total workers in the finance, banking and insurance activities. The number of licensed companies owned by women is 80,025, while women constitute­d 21.5 per cent of management positions and 32.5 per cent of workers in specialise­d profession­s. Melinda Gates once said, “If you are successful, it is because somewhere, sometime, someone gave you a life or an idea that started you in the right direction.”

In the case of the Emirati women, the spark of encouragem­ent and motivation comes from the leadership. The leaders believe in empowering the Emirati woman in all sectors. In this context, the comments of Sheikha Manal Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, on the wise leadership’s efforts to support Emirati women are noteworthy and praisewort­hy.

Sheikha Manal has commended the UAE leadership’s determinat­ion to provide Emirati women with all the tools required for them to contribute to the nation’s continued developmen­t and achievemen­ts.

Women make up 66 per cent of the UAE’S government workforce. According to statistics published by the UAE Embassy in the United States, 3 out of every 5 students in the public higher education system are women. Furthermor­e, 77 per cent of UAE females continue on to higher education from high school, where UAE national women represent 24 per cent more than the number of UAE national men enrolled. It all goes to show the extent of the care that the government accords women.

Their leading role would not have been possible without the leaders leading them on the road to emancipati­on.

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