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December 8, 2022
Learning From the Emirates How to Close the Regional Gender Gap

By Maria Maalouf, Guest Contributor

The late Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan, the founding father of the United Arab Emirates, said: "The endeavors undertaken by women in the Emirates are important and bright and deserve appreciation."

Women are an essential pillar in building societies and a pillar for balance. The Emirati leadership has experienced these facts. They have worked since the establishment of the Emirates to achieve that role and empower Emirati women to play the role assigned to them, and this was expressed by the founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan, who encouraged The first is for her to play her role and preserve her rights in full. Emirati women have always been an essential and influential element in the march of the UAE’s progress and an integral part of its societal structure. They work with Emirati men to enable the UAE to achieve its lofty aspirations and undertake unparalleled achievements. It is the second wing with The wing of the man who flew the Emirates toward the summit.

It is worth mentioning that since the establishment of the Emirates, the wise leadership, headed by the founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, has realized the importance of Emirati women and their ability to achieve and has succeeded in employing and benefiting from their capabilities, as women have proven that they are up to the responsibility and showed their ability to balance family tasks and daily professional burdens...

Emirati women have achieved achievements in all fields, from education to work in the most challenging professions. Women have proven their success in establishing their role in the past, present, and future of the Emirates politically, economically, and socially, so they were qualified to assume leadership positions. Here, Shamma bint Suhail bin Faris Al Mazrouei recalls me. The function of Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Vice President of the Arab Youth Center, she was the youngest minister in the world when she took office at the age of twenty-two in 2016. Her Excellency Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of the Expo 2020 Bureau, and Emirati women. She sits on the Executive Board of the Advanced Technology Research Council. In the 2021 Gender Gap Report of the World Economic Forum, the UAE jumped 48 ranks at once in a year, as its level rose from 120 to 72 in the global gender gap index and ranked second in the world in the index of equal pay between the two genders at the same work.

The forward-looking and confident vision of the Emirati leadership contributed to the UAE's ranking first among the Gulf Cooperation Council countries in the field of gender equality, as the number of women members of the Federal National Council increased. Nora Al-Matroushi was chosen to be the first Emirati woman to join the UAE space program and to become Thus the first female astronaut in the Arab world.

This is not to mention that Emirati women tended to focus on scientific disciplines, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and if we go back to the numbers, we find that a third of all university graduates in the UAE are women, and 77% of them hold degrees in computer science, 44% in engineering and nearly half of the graduates are female. Female university majors in the field of information and communication technology.

In addition, women in the UAE occupy 75% of the total jobs in the education and healthcare sectors, and approximately 23,000 Emirati entrepreneurs manage projects worth more than 50 billion dirhams. As for the diplomatic service, Emirati women occupy about 20% of the country's representation positions in the diplomatic arena. In the United Nations, women occupy 15% of all places on the boards of directors of chambers of commerce and industry.

The UAE is the first Gulf country and the second in the Arab world to launch a national strategy for the empowerment of women, and this is what we notice through the decision that raised the proportion of women's representation in the Federal National Council to 50%. Within the context of the Emirati strategy for women's empowerment, Abu Dhabi embraced the launch of the "Arab Declaration to Combat All Forms of Violence against Women and Girls between Text and Ways of Implementation" in the presence of Minister of Community Development Hessa bint Issa Bu Hamid, Minister of Community Development, and Arab and European figures and the United Nations.

Accordingly, we conclude that the future holds promising horizons for Emirati women who have set their sights on solving upcoming challenges that may seem "impossible," as that word does not exist in the Emirati dictionary.

*The views in this article are the express opinions of the author

Maria Maalouf is a journalist, broadcaster, and owner of the capitol Tv show from Washington DC. She holds an MA in Political Sociology from the University of Lyon. You can find her on Twitter @bilarakib


Vice President Joe Biden talks with Shamma Sohail, Minister of Youth, Mohammad Abdullah Algergawai, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Futurem, and entrepreneur Budoor Al Raqabani (March