UAE Gender Balance Council holds third Global Gender Circle in Brussels.

As part of its official visit to Brussels, a delegation from the UAE Gender Balance Council, led by Vice President Mona Al Marri, recently held the third edition in its series of Global Gender Circle. Hosted by the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates to the Kingdom of Belgium.

The meeting brought together gender experts, key civil society stakeholders and policymakers to share insights into best practices for fostering gender balance and advancing women empowerment.

Mona Al Marri opened the meeting by welcoming all attendees and expressing the gratitude of H.H. 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, to the Embassy of the UAE to the Kingdom of Belgium for hosting the Circle.

She highlighted the ‘Global Gender Circle’ as one of the key initiatives launched by the UAE Gender Balance Council with the goal of supporting the global gender agenda and SDG 5 � ‘achieving gender equality and empower all women and girls’. She added the initiative offers a dynamic platform for thought leaders and experts from across the world to discuss gender balance-related matters and work towards closing the gender gap through innovative ideas and progressive solutions.

The first Global Gender Circle was hosted by the UAE Permanent Mission to the United Nations and entitled, “Vision to Action: Challenges of Gender Policy Implementation”. It was attended by UN member country delegations and representatives and explored the challenges of gender policy implementation. The second meeting was held in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to discuss gender responsive budgeting.

During the meeting, Al Marri emphasised that gender balance, which is a key national priority for the UAE, has been deeply embedded within the country’s culture since its formation, due to the government’s strong belief in women’s right to work and play their role in the UAE’s development.

In line with this belief, the UAE Gender Balance Council was founded in 2015 under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, to narrow the gender gap across all sectors, enhance gender balance in decision-making positions, and support the UAE’s vision to become one of the world’s leading countries in gender balance. The UAE Gender Balance Council’s responsibilities also include making recommendations on regulations, policies, programmes and initiatives, as well as promoting the UAE’s status as a benchmark for gender balance legislation.

Mona Al Marri, said: “Since the Council’s establishment in 2015, we have achieved significant milestones in enhancing gender balance, as a result of our wise leadership’s support, the cooperation of government entities, and the Council’s strong relations with related international organization such as the World Bank, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, UN Women and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).”

These milestones include the launch of “The Gender Balance Guide: Actions for UAE Organisations,” in September 2017. The Guide, which is the first-of-its-kind in the world, was developed in coordination with the OECD, as a tool to advance gender balance in the workplace and promote a gender-sensitive approach at public and private organisations across the UAE.

In coordination with the Prime Minister’s Office, the Council launched the Gender Balance Index, a national recognition system awarding companies and individuals for their gender balance efforts and practices.

Mona Al Marri also highlighted the Council’s “Global Gender Circle” initiative, a panel to discuss gender related issues with international representatives, thought leaders, and gender experts, which was launched as part of its global outreach and knowledge exchange efforts.

Mohamed Abushahab, Ambassador of the UAE to the Kingdom of Belgium and the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg and the European Union, said: “The Global Gender Circle was an excellent opportunity for the UAE to highlight its achievements in women’s empowerment, through the Gender Balance Council which has already been instrumental in advancing gender-related policies. The meeting welcomed guests from across business, politics and media to exchange thoughts and ideas on how to enhance cooperation towards our common objective of advancing the global empowerment of women.”

Source: UAE MINISTRY OF FOREGIN AFFAIRS