H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid honours winners of Gender Balance Index

The Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said that gender balance is an important element of the national agenda and the UAE Vision 2021, emphasising that enhancing gender balance in the UAE will contribute to sustainable development and the fulfillment of the UAE’s commitments to the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs.

This came during a ceremony held to honour the winners of the Gender Balance Index 2017. The index features three categories: Best Personality for Supporting Gender Balance, Best Federal Entity for Supporting Gender Balance, and the Best Initiative for Supporting Gender Balance.

Speaking on the occasion, Sheikh Mohammed said that the country, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, works to invest in the development of its people, and considers both women and men as equal partners in national development.

“The UAE continues to follow the path established by the founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who built strong foundations for gender equality with the support of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation. Sheikh Zayed created an environment that enables all members of the society to positively contribute to the UAE’s progress,” he added.

Sheikh Mohammed added that that one of the UAE’s key priorities is to become one of the highest ranked countries globally in gender balance. Ensuring equal opportunities for men and women, support both social cohesion and economic development.

The Vice President honoured H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, with a medal for the Best Personality for Supporting Gender Balance. He was honoured in recognition for his strong support to women in the diplomatic sector, which has helped numerous Emirati women achieve global success. Currently, women represent 20 percent of employees in the diplomatic sector in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

He also honoured the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, FCSA, as the Best Federal Entity for Supporting Gender Balance. Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Chairwoman of the FCSA, received the ‘UAE Gender Balance Seal’.

The honouring of FCSA was based on three major criteria; decision-making, education and experience, and a supportive environment for working mothers. Evaluation in this category was based on statistics from the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources, FAHR, and polls conducted by a neutral party among more than 64,000 employees in the federal government.

Evaluation in the third category of Best Initiative for Supporting Gender Balance was based on best practices, projects, and policies and legislations established to support gender balance.

The UAE Securities and Commodities Authority, SCA, was honoured the Best Initiative for Supporting Gender Balance for its ‘Women in Boards’ initiative, and Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy and Chairman of the SCA Board of Directors, received the trophy. The authority aims to increase female representation on the boards of public shareholding companies to 20 percent by 2020.

Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council and wife of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, expressed her gratitude to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid for honouring the winners of the inaugural Gender Balance Index. She said that this recognition from the leadership reflects the importance of gender balance in the national agenda, and encourages all private and governmental entities to strive for further progress in this field.

Sheikha Manal thanked the UAE Government for incorporating gender balance into the country’s national indicators, which measure the performance of all organisations. This will support the UAE’s national goals as well as the UAE Gender Balance Council’s vision to establish the country as a role model for gender balance legislation in the region. She also highlighted the strategic partnership with the Prime Minister’s Office to work on the results of the index by reviewing the initiatives and procedures of the federal government organisations, and the policies they have adopted to support gender balance.

Mona Al Marri, Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, said, “The UAE’s Gender Balance Index is based on the highest national and global benchmarks that include the UAE Cabinet’s national indicators and the United Nations Development Programme’s, UNDP, ‘Gender Inequality Index’.”

The first category of the index recognises individuals who have played a key role in their organisation to achieve gender balance, provide equal opportunities and establish an environment that supports both men and women. It also honours individuals who have positively impacted gender balance locally, regionally and internationally, and contributed to enhancing the UAE’s ranking in global competitiveness reports.

Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs