A place without women is a place without spirit.”Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Traditionally, women have always been the backbone of family life and the social structure of the UAE and they continue to remain an integral part of maintaining the nation’s Islamic heritage and national culture. today, with the ongoing evolution of UAE society and the dynamic modernization process, as a result, some Emirati women have gone on to become pioneers in their fields. In the process, not only has the traditional role of women changed over the last two generations, but UAE society as a whole has been changed in numerous and positive ways, creating a bridge between the traditional and the modern without sacrificing the heritage and culture that defines this society’s national identity.
In the UAE, women enjoy the same constitutional rights as men. UAE is the third in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region for gender balance. It scores above the regional average across all sub-indexes except ‘Health and Survival’, with 96 per cent of the gender gap closed. It ranks first in the region on literacy rate and third on wage equality for similar work. The government’s strategic vision for women is based on providing them with the necessary tools to achieve professional excellence. This strategy aims to energize and utilize women’s role in public service as well as the private sector and to ensure that all career tracks remain open to them should they choose to pursue them. In essence, the UAE understands that it is a national imperative for women to contribute to the development process.
The commitment and enthusiasm from Emirati women themselves to benefit from these opportunities has complemented the government’s policies and strategy on gender empowerment. United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an example of a rapid and successful development story in the region, in terms of both the infrastructure and economy of the country and also the progress of its people. The UAE’s achievement is perhaps best typified in the evolution and growing prominence of Emirati women as partners and contributors in this remarkable nation-building process. Women, who account for 49.3 percent of the national population.
The UAE established the Gender Balance Council to enhance work environment by giving women equal opportunities in the public sector. Towards that end, the UAE launched the Gender Inequality Index for Government sector.
Key achievements towards ‘Gender equality’
- Half of the businesses in the small-to-medium enterprise sector in the UAE are handled by women
- The UAE has opened the region’s first military college for women, Khawla bint Al Azwar Military School
- The Federal National Council has 9 women members out of a total of 40
- 4 women have been appointed as judges, 2 as public prosecutors and 17 as assistant public prosecutors and marriage officials
- Women make up 20 percent of the diplomatic corps.