ABU DHABI, 29th November, 2016 (WAM) — H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, met Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, here on Tuesday, and held detailed discussions regarding the council’s mandate, functions, objectives and plans.
During the meeting between H.H. Sheikh Abdullah and members of the council, Al Marri pointed out that the UAE Gender Balance Council was established to reduce gender gap across all government sectors in the country, enhance the UAE’s ranking in global reports on gender equality, and promote gender balance in decision-making positions.
”The council also aims to launch innovative initiatives and projects that contribute to greater gender balance, which will position the UAE as a model for gender balance and a benchmark for legislation,” she said.
The meeting discussed the Ministry’s support for the council’s representation in international events and organisations focussed on gender equality. The possibility of hosting international high-profile conferences on gender equality was also discussed.
The Minister highlighted the pivotal role of the council’s members, their long, rich experiences and contributions to the council’s initiatives, programmes and plans, which aim to achieve sustainable development and deliver the UAE’s vision in making a difference locally, regionally and globally, in terms of gender balance.
Al Marri also spoke about the global competitiveness indicators on gender gap, including the Gender Inequality Index, which is issued annually by the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP.
The council would also oversee the Index and the implementation of best practices and processes to ensure federal institutions achieve their gender balance targets, which would support the UAE’s vision to become one of the world’s top 25 countries for gender equality by 2020, she added.
The council’s initiatives include documenting the efforts of supporting bodies through the UAE Gender Balance Seal, implementation of the UAE Gender Balance Order and establishment of Best Three UAE Gender Balance Initiatives Award. Al Marri also spoke about the National Political Empowerment Programme, which was launched last year by the Ministry of State for Federal National Council (FNC) Affairs, to increase women’s participation in FNC elections.
Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced on 24th May, 2015, the formation of the UAE Gender Balance Council, a federal entity chaired by President of Dubai Women Establishment Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, wife of Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs. The body aims to boost the UAE’s efforts to evolve and enhance women’s role as key partners in building the future of the nation.