first meeting for uae gender balance council
Last Updated : GMT 13:26:15
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Last Updated : GMT 13:26:15
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Mohammed bin Rashid approves index

First meeting for UAE Gender Balance Council

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Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today First meeting for UAE Gender Balance Council

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum (R)
Dubai - Arab Today

Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has affirmed that the UAE will spare no effort to create a supportive environment for women to fulfil their roles as key partners in building the future of the nation.

"Emirati women have proved their competence in all fields and we are proud of every achievement they made, and thus, we are committed to support them till they achieve the highest degrees of excellence and accomplish further achievements in line with our ambitious development vision" said His Highness.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid wished all the success for members of UAE Gender Balance Council in pursuing their objectives. Sheikh Mohammed described the formation of the Gender Balance Council as a new step toward empowering UAE women.

He also affirmed that the Council's objectives complement the valued contributions of the Mother of the Nation, H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, GWU, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation, FDF, and Head of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood.

Affirming its role in enhancing work environment by giving women equal opportunities in the public sector, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid approved the Council's launching of the Gender Balance Index for the government sector.

Sheikh Mohammed's statement came while attending part of the UAE Gender Balance Council's first meeting, chaired by President of the UAE Gender Balance Council and President of Dubai Women Establishment, H.H. Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, wife of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, and H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, attended the meeting.

During the meeting, Sheikha Manal announced the launch of Gender Balance Index in government entities.

President of the UAE Gender Balance Council and President of Dubai Women Establishment, H.H. Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has issued a resolution appointing Mona Al Marri as Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council.

The meeting was also attended by members of the UAE Gender Balance Council including Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, Mona Al Marri; Director-General of UAE General Women's Union, Noura Al Suweidi; Undersecretary of Foreign Ministry for Legal Affairs, Dr. Abdul Rahim Yousef Al Awadhi; Assistant Undersecretary of Foreign Ministry for Government Coordination Nasser Al Hamili of Ministry of Presidential Affairs; Undersecretary for Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade and Industry, Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Saleh; Assistant Undersecretary for Ministry of Labour for Policies and Strategies, Dr. Omer Abdul Rahman Al Nuaimi; Secretary-General of Emirates Competitiveness Council, Abdullah Nasser Lootah; Director-General of the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources, Dr. Abdul Rahman Al Awar; Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, Reem Al Falasi, and Director-General of Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation at Ministry of Cabinet Affairs, Huda Al Hashimi.

Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum started the UAE Gender Balance Council's first meeting by welcoming Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, extending her heartfelt gratitude to His Highness for offering a great care for women around the country and for the continuous support for all initiatives and projects that aim at empowering women and granting them the necessary tools and means to actively serve their community and country. Sheikha Manal stressed on the fact that the Council is keen on monitoring its entrusted tasks in accordance with the aspirations of our wise leadership and in support to UAE's overall development at all levels.

"The Gender Balance Index in government entities aims at measuring the performance of these entities in achieving balance through a series of indices which include developing policies in support of women, applying these policies optimally, ensuring equal opportunities between men and women in leadership positions and decision-making positions as well as launching initiatives that will provide excellent services in the workplace, such as, creating women's committees that serve women," stressed Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed.

Sheikha Manal commissioned the UAE Gender Balance Council to cooperate with different stakeholders at the federal level, to work on the project and present a full concept during the Council's next meeting.

Fruitful Results During the meeting, Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed reviewed the overall objectives and strategy outline for the next phase of the council, along with the steps taken to activate the Council's role, in cooperation with competent entities in the UAE based on clear frameworks that ensure concrete and effective results in the shortest possible time frames. Sheikha Manal also confirmed that the Council acts as a federal entity intended to bridge the gap between genders, achieve the desired balance between them and offer both men and women equal opportunities. The Council's first index is efficiency, excellence and innovation, which contributes to achieving one of the Council's main objectives including upgrading the UAE's competitiveness level in the field of gender balance on the international level.

Sheikha Manal stressed the importance of developing federal and local strategies to deal with gender and social balance, examining existing legislations and studying the possibility of enhancing them, which will achieve the desired balance, especially that these legislations were passed several decades ago and might not fit our country's large development ambitions.

Moreover, Sheikha Manal noted that the UAE is keen to empower women and therefore the country provided equal educational opportunities and better access to health and social services. The UAE also issued legislations to preserve women's rights. Sheikha Manal affirmed that the UAE takes pride in Emirati women's achievements and is committed to provide the support they require in order for them to continue play their important role as mothers raising the new generation beside their role in the community.

"Current legislations, policies and programmes must be revised or updated, and new legislations and programmes must be developed to achieve gender balance in the workplace, as we currently need to develop legislations and policies that suit the major changes in the state, and fulfil our ambition to turn the UAE into a model in gender balance. This path will guarantee a proper and collective participation of men and women during the ambitious developmental journey which requires combining all efforts. In addition, the implementation of decisions and laws in gender balance must undergo a follow-up process, as some of them are not applied or are inaccurately applied in a way that diminishes the achievement of desired goals," Sheikha Manal she added.

Multiple Fields and Great Expectations Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed pointed out the multiplicity of the fields overseen by the Council and the pressing need to focus on sectors that are showing poor performance in international competitiveness reports, taking into consideration the fact that some reports issued by international bodies often lack accuracy.

As for the Council's focus fields, Sheikha Manal assured that the UAE Gender Balance Council will work on several areas while stressing on political participation and will strive to increase women's participation rate in the National Council, as well as achieve equal rates for their participation in diplomatic corps.

She mentioned that the leadership and decision-making entity will be concretely implemented to raise women's participation in boards of directors within public and private sectors, in cooperation and coordination with the Ministry of Economy and all stakeholders so as to activate the women's representation, determine the reasons that prevent the increase in representation rates and identify the best ways to raise their participation.

President of the Council also noted the importance of adopting work-life balance initiatives through creating nurseries in workplaces and collaborating with the representative of the Ministry of Social Affairs to protest against the deactivation of decisions related to women in federal entities. The Council will also review the situation and maternity laws and work for their optimal application at the state level, as well as follow up on their implementation by governmental and private entities.

She revealed that the efforts of the UAE Gender Balance Council within the economic body will include working on increasing the participation of women in the private and entrepreneurship sectors, especially after Emirati women proved their ability to achieve excellence in various economic and business fields.

International Competitiveness For his part, Secretary General of the Emirates Competitiveness Council His Excellence Abdulla Nasser Lootah presented an overview on the UAE status in international competitiveness reports, where he highlighted the positions scored by the UAE in this regard and the aspects that require improvement. The representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave an overview on women, their role in the Emirati society and the elements that the Council needs to focus on during the next phase as part of the efforts to reduce any gap between genders.

Following this, a presentation on the UAE Gender Balance Council and its objectives was shown. These objectives include reducing the gap between genders in all UAE sectors, promoting the UAE's status in international competitiveness reports in terms of gender gap and striving to achieve gender balance in decision-making centres. Moreover, innovative initiatives and projects were presented, aiming at achieving gender balance and turning the UAE into a model in gender balance and gender equality legislations.

Council's Specialisations Members of the UAE Gender Balance Council include Director of the General Women's Union, Noura Al Suwaidi; Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, Reem Abdullah Al Falasi; Chairperson of Dubai Women Establishment, Mona Al Marri; and Secretary-General of the Emirates Competitiveness Council, Abdulla Nasser Lootah, in addition to representatives from the Ministries of Presidential Affairs, Cabinet Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Economy, Social Affairs, Labour, and the Federal Authority for Human Resources.

Council's specialisations include reviewing current legislations, policies and programmes, suggesting or updating new legislations and programmes in order to achieve gender balance in the workplace, and activating laws, regulations, decisions and related international agreements on gender balance, to avoid discrimination against women.

The Council specialises in reviewing and following international competitiveness reports, working on establishing programmes, plans and policies to reduce the gender gap in the workplace, collaborating with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to represent the United Arab Emirates in international forums, suggesting cooperation agreements and joint programmes, as well as proposing gender balance indices, presenting them to the Cabinet for approval and seeking to promote their application in the state in collaboration with federal and local authorities, in order to achieve the Council's objectives.

In addition, the Council seeks to establish a database related to gender balance in the workplace and submit periodic reports to the Cabinet to indicate the progress made and identify the projects and needs requested by the Council to achieve its objectives.
Source: WAM

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