UAE leading women’s empowerment, UN Human Rights Council told

GENEVA, The United Arab Emirates has continued its efforts to strengthen women’s rights and guaranteeing their empowerment, the UN Human Rights Council was told on Monday. In an official report submitted as part of the Universal Periodic Review, UPR, process, the Government noted that the UAE’s Constitution “stipulates that women and men enjoy the same rights.”

The report was presented by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Anwar Gargash.

In the nation’s journey to encourage women’s empowerment, the report noted that “there were significant improvements in the situation of women between 2013 and 2017,” detailing the solid commitment by the State to guarantee opportunities for every woman to play her leadership role in civil and political life.

The UAE has put in place a congenial work environment for women in various fields � from politics and science to business and economy. Women’s empowerment is one of the areas in which the UAE is at the forefront, the report noted.

In 2015, a woman was made speaker of the Federal National Council, making her the first woman in the Arab world to hold that position, and 2016 saw the inclusion of eight female ministers in the 29-member Cabinet.

The UAE is among the top countries in the Arab world in gender equality according to the indicators recorded by the UN Development Programme. According to the report, 22.5 percent of the Federal National Council seats are held by women, and 77 percent of adult women pursue higher education after secondary school compared to 64.5 percent of their male counterparts. More than 70 percent of Emiratis in higher education institutions are women, the report added.

The launch of the National Strategy for the Empowerment and Advancement of Emirati Women (2015 � 2021) is a testament to the nation’s keenness to facilitate development plans and programmes across private and public sector organisations to empower women, ensure gender equality and eliminate discrimination against women.

The report noted that the UAE believes that without gender equality there will never be stability and prosperity in the region. Pursuing this objective, the UAE has, therefore, formed partnerships with the United Nations in many initiatives aimed at women’s empowerment.

The nation is among the principal supporters of the UN Women, the United Nations body for gender equality and empowerment of women since its inception in 2011. In 2016, the UAE and UN Women signed a Headquarters Agreement marking the opening of the UN Women Liaison Office for GCC member states in the nation’s capital, Abu Dhabi.

Source: Emirates News Agency