ABU DHABI, 29th November, 2017 (WAM) -- On the occasion of the UAE's 46th National Day celebrations, the Emirates News Agency, WAM, has compiled a series of reports regarding the achievements of the state over the past year. In part twelve, we look at the UAE's success in terms of the empowerment of women.
During the last year, the United Arab Emirates has continued to achieve success in terms of the empowerment of women, with one key highlight late in the year being the addition of yet more women to the Cabinet. 29 per cent of all Ministers are now women. Some of the major developments of the year are listed below.
On 12th February, 2017, The UAE Gender Balance Council launched the ‘Gender Balance Guide: Good Practices for UAE Organisations’, a comprehensive set of guidelines and concrete actions aimed at helping UAE organisations adopt a gender-sensitive approach at their workplaces.
On 10th March, 2017, The UAE achieved another milestone in the area of women's empowerment by leading the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in a Gender Progress Index (GPI) released by INSEAD, a top business school. The findings of the index were discussed at a seminar marking International Women’s Day at the INSEAD Middle East Campus in Abu Dhabi.
On 17th March, 2017, The United Arab Emirates renewed its commitment to supporting UN Women, the global entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women, through its membership of the UN Women's Executive Board and by hosting the entity's liaison office in Abu Dhabi. In a statement to the 61st session of the UN’s ‘Commission on the Status of Women,’ CSW61, in New York, Mona Al Marri, Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, spoke of the UAE's desire to work with relevant global entities to empower women and enhance gender balance.
On 18th June, 2017, UN Women approved the appointment of Dr. Moza Al Shehhi as the Director of its Communications Office in Abu Dhabi.
On 4th July, 2017, The participants of a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, conference in Paris, held with the theme, "Soft Power Today: Fostering Women's Empowerment and Leadership", agreed to adopt all the suggestions of the UAE Federal National Council, FNC, during its closing statement.
Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, the FNC Speaker, made a number of suggestions that can contribute to strengthening the considerable soft power of women, to help confront the major challenges facing the world.
On 16th July, 2017, The UAE General Women’s Union launched an updated website for the Emirati Women’s Day celebrations on 28th August, under the theme, "Women are Partners in Giving".
On 22nd July, 2017, It was reported that the UAE has the highest number of women on the Forbes Middle East list of the 'Top 100 Most Powerful Arab Businesswomen 2017' list with 18, followed closely by Egypt with 16. Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, then Minister of State for Tolerance, also retained her top position in the '10 most powerful women in government' list.
On 23rd August, 2017, it was announced that the total number of Emirati women investing at Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, ADX, had reached 219,000 by the end of June 2017, holding 3 billion shares worth AED18.8 billion.
The total value of trades on the ADX by Emirati female investors reached AED2.7 billion during the first half of the year, a19.4 percent increase compared with the first half of 2016.
On 27th August, 2017, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said the number of national females working at the ministry's premises has increased to 175 in addition to 42 women serving in diplomatic missions abroad.
On 29th August, 2017, It was reported that Emirati women have contributed 600,000 hours of field and online voluntary activities in the last seven years under the Zayed Giving Initiative (ZGI).
On 15th September, 2017, Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, the UAE Permanent Representative to the United Nations, UN, in Geneva, presented the UAE's gender equality model at the 36th session of the Human Rights Council, as part of an annual discussion on integrating gender perspectives.
On 20th September, 2017, UN Women and the Global Partnerships Forum, GPF, presented the Agent of Change Award to H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, in recognition of her contributions and achievements in areas of women's empowerment and gender equality in the UAE and beyond.
On 24th September, 2017 , The UAE General Women's Union and the UN Women Gulf Liaison Office in New York, signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, to strengthen cooperation and technical assistance between the two sides. The MoU was signed on the sidelines of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
On 24th September, 2017, The UAE announced its intention to donate $15 million to support UN Women over the next three years.
The announcement was made during a meeting between H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed and the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.
On 3rd October, 2017, The Arab Women Investors Union honoured H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, at an Arab League ceremony.
On 18th October, 2017, The 137th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, IPU, in St Petersburg, Russia, praised the UAE’s support for its international humanitarian efforts and its future vision of women’s and youth empowerment, describing the UAE as a centre of creativity and innovation.