According to the Women, Business and the Law 2023 report by the World Bank, the UAE has been ranked as the leading country in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in terms of women’s rights and opportunities. The report covers 190 countries and evaluates them based on eight key indicators, including mobility, workplace, pay, entrepreneurship, and pension. The UAE scored a full score in five of the eight indicators, which includes a score of 82.5 out of 100 possible points across 35 sub-indicators.
Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, expressed her appreciation for the UAE’s commitment to gender balance, highlighting the UAE’s leadership’s unwavering support and confidence in women’s capabilities. She lauded the UAE’s success in providing women with equal opportunities through a series of legislation and policies aimed at ensuring that women continue to contribute to the nation’s progress and build a better future for present and future generations.
The UAE is a regional and global leader in introducing legislation and regulations that support women’s rights and their role in the workplace. In 2012, the UAE Cabinet passed a decision on the presence of women on the boards of government entities, making the UAE the first country in the region and the second in the world to introduce such binding legislation.
In 2015, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid announced the establishment of the UAE Gender Balance Council, a federal entity tasked with developing and implementing the gender balance agenda in the UAE. The UAE GBC has collaborated with various federal entities, resulting in the introduction and reforms of over 20 legislations related to employee benefits, equal access to credit, political participation, personal status, judiciary, wages, freedom of movement, marriage, entrepreneurship, assets, and pension. These reforms focus on enhancing women’s economic participation and safeguarding their rights.
Sheikha Manal highlighted that the UAE serves as a global model in women’s empowerment, achieved through the collaboration of the public and private sectors who share a common vision of enhancing women’s contributions in the workplace. The country’s commitment to this cause is reflected in the report’s findings, which indicate that the UAE has achieved significant progress in promoting gender balance and equal opportunities for women.
Sheikha Manal expressed her gratitude to the President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for their support and encouragement in achieving this milestone. She also appreciated their commitment to granting women the opportunity to serve the nation and contribute to its progress.
The UAE’s commitment to gender balance and women’s empowerment is evident in its efforts to create an enabling environment that promotes women’s participation in all aspects of society. This includes the workplace, where women are increasingly occupying senior positions in both the public and private sectors. Women in the UAE have access to education and healthcare, and the country has implemented policies and initiatives to address gender-based violence and discrimination.
The UAE’s efforts to promote gender balance and women’s empowerment are aligned with the country’s broader vision of sustainable development. The UAE is committed to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, which include promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls.
The UAE’s ranking as the leading country in the MENA region for women’s rights and opportunities is a testament to the country’s commitment to promoting gender balance and women’s empowerment. The UAE’s efforts in this regard have been recognized globally, and the country’s achievements serve as a model for other countries to follow. The UAE’s vision for sustainable development is centered around promoting gender equality and empowering women.