UAE Gender Balance Council, UNDP discusses collaboration

DUBAI, Pedro Conceicao, Director of the Human Development Report Office at the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, has appreciated the UAE for its achievements in gender balance, lauding the nation as a regional role model.

He said that the UAE has made a quantum leap, improving 23 places in the UNDP's Gender Inequality Index, GII, for 2019, ranking 26th after previously being ranked 49th, a feat rarely achieved at a global level.

During his meeting with Mona Al Marri, Vice President, UAE Gender Balance Council, Pedro Conceicao also noted that the strides made by the UAE in gender balance have been inspired by the nation's forward-thinking leadership who believe in the role of women and equal opportunities for all members of society.

He also stressed that the UAE's dedication to achieving gender balance at all levels and across sectors is impressive.

The two parties explored opportunities for collaboration between the UAE Gender Balance Council and UNDP's Human Development Report Office, as part of the Council's commitment to fortifying global partnerships and exchanging best practices. These partnerships with international organisations will help reduce the gender gap across all sectors in the UAE and enhance the country's ranking in global gender balance indices, an objective that is in line with the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Al Marri said.

She added that the UAE Gender Balance Council has worked closely with the UNDP to identify gaps and opportunities for improvement. The Council, with the support of federal entities, is striving to exceed the country's goal to be among the world's top 25 countries for gender equality, she noted.

She hoped to reach the goal this year thanks to the continuous support of the UAE's wise leadership. This support is reflected in the country's policies, legislation and initiatives that seek to raise women's participation across different fields. The UAE's improvement in the 2019 UNDP Gender Inequality Index makes it the highest ranked Arab country. Additionally, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, issued a resolution last year to raise women's representation in the Federal National Council, FNC, to 50 per cent with effect from the legislative cycle last year, Al Marri added.

We are inspired by our wise leadership's decision to launch new initiatives to help us achieve further success in this field. Our experience is internationally recognised, and organising the Global Women's Forum in Dubai for the second time highlights global acknowledgement of our achievements. This will motivate us to maintain the momentum for progress and strive to be the best in the world by the UAE Centennial 2071, she went on to say.

Al Marri thanked H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, GWU, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation,FDF, for her continued efforts to enhance gender balance in the country, and the support UAE women in achieving international recognition across sectors.

Al Marri also praised the initiatives launched by H.H. Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, President of Dubai Women Establishment and wife of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, stating that the Council adopts international best practices under H.H's supervision to enhance the UAE's ranking in international indices.

As part of its strategic plan, the UAE Gender Balance Council seeks to implement a number of projects over the coming years as part of its commitment to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, as well as its aim of consolidating gender balance laws and making the UAE a regional and global model for gender balance legislation, she said.

Al Marri also noted that the UAE Gender Balance Council continuously works on identifying strengths, weaknesses and gaps in current legislations related to women in cooperation with legal and gender experts to propose new legislative solutions. The initiative was welcomed by Pedro Conceicao who confirmed the UNDP's readiness to provide support and counsel based on his deep appreciation of the UAE's forward-looking vision that is not only limited to addressing local concerns but also exporting knowledge globally.

Source: Emirates News Agency