Since its founding in 1971, the U.A.E has seen great progress in the area of women’s empowerment. According to the 2020 Global Gender Gap Report’s Gender Gap Index, the U.A.E ranks second out of nineteen MENA countries and first among Gulf nations in terms of gender equality. Areas in which the U.A.E. excels include wage equality for similar work, advancement of women into leadership roles, and the number of women employed in the public sector.
The U.A.E. has passed critical legislation that grants women in the U.A.E. the following:
- Equal rights as men
- Paid maternity leave for a minimum of 45 days
- Equal pay for similar work
- One woman on the board of every company and government agency
- 50% of the U.A.E.’s Federal National Council seats
Notably, women make up 30% of the U.A.E. Cabinet, exceeding the global average. Female leaders include H.E. Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology; H.E. Mariam Almheiri, Minister of State for Food and Water Security; H.E. Reem Al Hashimi, U.A.E. Minister of State for International Cooperation; and H.E. Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the U.A.E. to the United Nations.
The Business Council supports female empowerment in the U.A.E. by hosting discussions on inclusion and diversity in the workplace as well as forums for female business leaders, including a panel luncheon program on “Empowering Arab Women Entrepreneurs.” The Business Council has also published reports and updates on gender equality in the U.A.E., including its report on Women in the U.A.E. Workforce and report on Women in Sustainability.