Global experts hail UAE’s gender equality experience as international role model

DUBAI, Global experts have hailed UAE’s gender equality experience as an international role model, adding that it as a shining example for progress towards gender parity.

They were of the view that one of the biggest challenges to achieving gender parity in the world is the lack of gender friendly legislations and policies that provide women equal opportunities across all sectors.

Speakers at a session on the second day of the Global Women’s Forum Dubai 2020, titled ‘Achieving 2030’s SDG’s: Women’s Engagement’ discussed solutions for addressing the issue of gender disparity.

Panellists participating in the panel discussion, moderated by Hadley Gamble, Anchor, CNBC, mentioned the lack of legal frameworks as well as issues related to social norms and cultural perceptions among the top challenges that are slowing down the journey towards gender parity.

Shamsa Saleh, Secretary-General, UAE Gender Balance Council, said, One of the most important challenges we are facing globally today is the lack of gender friendly legislations and legal frameworks. There needs to be a sort of gender lens on policies across all sectors and all related policies, she said.

Echoing a similar opinion, Taline Koranchelian, Deputy Director, Middle East and Central Asia Department, IMF, said, Job creation for men and women is of utmost importance. There is a need for broader policies to boost growth and job creation as well as provide equal opportunities for education and financial access. Also, additional measures are required to facilitate balance between work and family.

Zohra Khan, Global Policy Advisor, Governance & National Planning, UN Women, said despite the progress in gender equality across the world, a lot of work remains to be done due to social norms and cultural perceptions. Additionally, violence against women remains evident despite regulations, gender gap in the labour force participation, which remains at 31 per cent, has stagnated over the last two decades. Furthermore, only 26 per cent of Artificial Intelligence and data professionals are women.

Abdullah Lootah, Director-General of Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority UAE, highlighted the speed at which the UAE has revised its laws and legislations with regards to gender balance, which helped the UAE rise in global rankings. He mentioned how the UAE has nine women ministers and a female representation of 50 per cent or more in the Federal National Council.

Source: Emirates News Agency