Traditionally, Emirati Women’s Day takes place on August 28. A special occasion to celebrate women and, of course, to honor the many achievements of women in the UAE.
“We Collaborate for Tomorrow”
Emirati Women’s Day was launched in 2015 by Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, the Mother of the Nation, President of the General Women’s Union (GWU), President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation (FDF). Sheikha Fatima also announced the motto of Emirati Women’s Day in spring: “We Collaborate for Tomorrow”.
The motto was carefully chosen to support the UAE Year of Sustainability, during which the UAE is hosting the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 28). The conference will be held in Dubai from November 30 to December 12, 2023.
In her statement, H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak emphasized: “Every year, we proudly announce an inspiring theme for Emirati Women’s Day, and this national occasion is a priority for us. This day highlights a set of objectives which aligns with the country’s global leadership in recognising and empowering women. The UAE has made gender balance an integral part of the nation’s social culture. This highlights the significance of collaboration between federal and local authorities, civil society, and the private sector to enhance the achievements in this area.”
Regarding the reference to the Climate Change Conference, H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak added: “With COP28 set to take place in November 2023, the UAE is gearing up to tackle the pressing issues related to climate change. Notably, prominent female figures will be leading the charge during COP28, comprising two-thirds of the leadership team and over 50 percent of the administrative team, setting an example through our sustainable approach to recognising the competence, excellence and creativity of Emirati women.”
Gender Balance in the UAE
In terms of gender relations, much has changed in the UAE in recent years. Here are just a few examples:
According to a 2018 directive, women make up half of the 40 members of the UAE National Council. About 27 percent of ministerial positions are held by women. H.E. Sheikha Lubna Al Qasmi was the first woman to hold a cabinet post in 2004. Equal pay for equal work, mandated in 2021 as part of the first revision of the labor law in 40 years. The Emirates Security and Commodities Authority, which oversees the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) and the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), has set a 2021 quota of at least one woman per board member for listed companies in the UAE. In the UAE, two-thirds of public sector jobs, 30 percent of management positions and 15 percent of technical and academic positions are held by women. Emirati women account for 64 percent of university graduates in the UAE. Women account for 61 percent of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) students in the UAE, compared to 35 percent globally.
The finest Emirates wishes a Happy Emirati Women’s Day!
Photos: © DCT Abu Dhabi