UAE ranks seventh in list of nations tackling gender inequality

Sheikh Mohammed praises efforts of Gender Balance Council

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Job seekers at the Careers UAE 2019 at Dubai World Trade Centre.  Leslie Pableo for The National for Patrick Ryan's story
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The UAE has ranked seventh on a global list of nations for efforts to promote gender equality.

The nation also ranked first in the region on the Gender Inequality Index, which is part of a UN human development report.

The report ranked countries on their efforts to reduce inequality between women and men.

The country with the best record was Denmark, with Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands and Finland making up the top six.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, has praised the efforts of his daughter Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed as president of the UAE Gender Balance Council.

I'm proud of my daughter, Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed, and her successful leadership on this national project, a distinguished team and a distinguished achievement," Sheikh Mohammed said on X.

The UAE has moved up four places from its previous ranking in last year's index.

“Improving the UAE’s ranking in global reports and indicators strengthens its position as a global and regional model for gender balance,” said Sheikha Manal in remarks carried by Dubai Media Office.

Sheikha Manal added the UAE's commitment to empowering women was paying off. "Today, they [women] are key decision-makers in pivotal sectors, supporting our nation's global leadership aspirations,” she said.

The next best-placed GCC country was Bahrain in 45th, Kuwait 51st, Qatar 54th, with Saudi Arabia in 55th place. Oman was in 66th position.

The report used a number of criteria such as percentage of women in parliament and women with secondary school education.

The UAE's 50 per cent of female MPs was topped only by New Zealand's 50.4 per cent.

In November, the UAE launched a drive to increase the number of women working in the industrial sector.

The UAE Gender Balance Council was created in 2015 to help with the goal of becoming one of the world's top 25 countries for gender equality by 2021.

The UAE committed an additional $15 million to UN Women in 2023 over the course of three years to promote gender equality, empower women and girls worldwide and advance their participation in conflict prevention and peace-building.

The country is currently serving on the UN Women executive board. It previously served as member of the board from 2013-2019 and as its president in 2017.

A campaign was also launched last year by UN Women to tackle gender equality in the workplace. The Women's Empowerment Principles drive is the result of a collaboration between the UN Women UAE Liaison Office for the GCC and the General Women's Union.

The latest Gender Inequality Index refers to data from 2022 or the most recent year available, the report stated.

Updated: March 15, 2024, 12:25 PM