Gulf News

Ex­pand­ing hori­zons for women em­pow­er­ment

The UAE has been con­sis­tently re­spon­sive to­wards the needs and po­ten­tial of its women cit­i­zens

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As an en­abler of women’s con­tri­bu­tions to na­tional devel­op­ment, the UAE pos­sesses one of the most wellenun­ci­ated in­ten­tions in the world. Guided by a clear ac­knowl­edge­ment of the po­ten­tial of its fe­male cit­i­zens, the UAE’s poli­cies have helped Emi­rati women blaze a trail as they stride past mile­stone af­ter mile­stone.

The lat­est set of ini­tia­tives, un­veiled on Tues­day, fur­ther their in­te­gra­tion not just with the na­tional agenda, but also make more room to place their im­print on the in­ter­na­tional stage. For ex­am­ple, the ac­cent on gen­der equal­ity am­bas­sadors at the United Na­tions and a push to have more Emi­rati women in diplo­matic mis­sions and as rep­re­sen­ta­tives in in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions are key pred­i­ca­tors of their greater abil­ity to shape the global dis­course. This will pave the way for Emi­rati women to have their voices heard across the global stage, an in­dis­pens­able strength for the UAE and a shot in the arm for the greater prin­ci­ple of con­tri­bu­tion of women at the high­est lev­els of in­ter­na­tional pol­i­cy­mak­ing.

It is an em­pir­i­cally es­tab­lished fact that par­tic­i­pa­tion of women, who com­prise one half of the hu­man re­source po­ten­tial of the planet, at every level of func­tion­ing leads to higher global progress, stronger economies and bet­ter so­cial equi­lib­rium.

Many a time, the agenda for women em­pow­er­ment is con­strained by its typ­i­cal em­phases on tra­di­tional do­mains such as busi­nesses and en­trepreneur­ship, pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tor em­ploy­ment, health and ed­u­ca­tion, etc. How­ever, the real game changer for a coun­try vis-a-vis women’s progress is when it sets out to blur the lines be­tween gen­der-based oc­cu­pa­tions, ren­der­ing them de­fin­i­tive by the virtue of ap­ti­tude and merit alone, and en­tirely dis­as­so­ci­ated from a def­er­ence to chro­mo­so­mal com­bi­na­tions.

The lat­est ini­tia­tives for women’s progress are bold in their di­rec­tion and this is as it should be. Fields that hith­erto were less as­so­ci­ated with fe­male au­thor­ity such as diplo­macy, ju­di­ciary, rep­re­sen­ta­tion of in­ter­na­tional bod­ies and par­tic­i­pa­tion in global peace­keep­ing mis­sions are now firmly in the cen­tre­field and there is every rea­son to trust that Emi­rati women will make these do­mains too a field of their ex­per­tise on the quick.

Since its found­ing year, the UAE has been con­sis­tently re­spon­sive to the needs and po­ten­tial of its women cit­i­zens, lov­ingly nur­tur­ing their in­te­gra­tion with na­tion-build­ing every step of the way, a fact that is re­flected in its na­tional strat­egy for em­pow­er­ment of Emi­rati women for 2015-2021. Now, with the lat­est plans to fur­ther ex­pand the hori­zons for Emi­rati women, the fu­ture is theirs to seize.

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