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Manal Bint Mohammed: Gender Balance Is A Long-Standing Priority For The UAE

The UAE Gender Balance Council represents the UAE at the Ministerial Conference on Women’s Empowerment in G20 India 2023

Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of UAE Gender Balance Council, wife of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, confirmed that enhancing gender balance is a long-standing priority for the UAE and women play a vital role in achieving prosperity and stability and contribute effectively to sustainable economic growth.

Her Highness affirmed the UAE’s commitment to involving the international community in its successful journey in gender balance – which has seen remarkable progress due to the wise leaderships unwavering support and dedication. Her highness indicatedsome laws and legislative improvements that have been issued in recent years, which the UAE followed since its establishment and contributed to raising the UAE’s global competitiveness in this vital file. Adding that the UAE, within the framework of its permanent cooperative approach, welcomes cooperation and exchange of knowledge and innovation with members of the G20 and international partners to develop implementable strategies that work to advance gender balance in the region and the world.

The UAE participated in the G20 Ministerial Conference on Women's Empowerment, which was held in Gujarat, India, from August 2 to 4, under the theme “Women led Inclusive Development as Cusp of Inter-Generational Transformation”. The UAE also participated in the meetings of the G20 Empower on the first of this month.

The UAE Gender Balance Council represented the UAE in these two events, which dealt with many issues related to women and the importance of enhancing their role in all fields for a better tomorrow for humanity, alongside the participation of representatives of the G20 member states, invited countries and international organisations, in response to an official invitation from the Republic of India, which chairs the current session of G20.

Efforts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum praised the efforts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in highlighting the UAE’s achievements in the field of gender balance in international forums and the active contribution of the Ministry to strengthening the global partnerships of the Council through its diplomatic mission in various countries of the world and international organizations. Her Highness also praised the efforts of the G20 Empowerment Committee, which contributed to creating strong relations between member countries and commitments to new solutions and complex challenges.

Her Highness said, "As we approach the organization of the twenty-eighth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 28), which the UAE will host from November 30 to December 12, 2023, the country attaches utmostimportance to bringing women into the heart of the global decision-making process." Emphasising that this is a pivotal moment that represents an opportunity to achieve rapid and transformative progress around the world, including climate action and the empowerment of women for sustainable development. Her Highness stressed: "We look forward to accelerating the empowerment of women and increasing their role in climate action by building on the strength of culture and empowerment that were discussed in the Ministerial Conference on Women's Empowerment in G20.”

A review of the Gender Balance’s progress

The Council’s delegation, headed by Her Excellency Hanan Mansour Ahli, member of the UAE Gender Balance Council,Director general of the Competitiveness Sector at the Federal Competitiveness & Statistics Authority, and the participation of Ayat Al Salmi, Senior Project Manager in the UAE GBC, sharedUAE’s gender balance strategy and discussed with representatives of several participating countries and organisations opportunities to promote collaborations at the level of the countries of the group.

Her Excellency Hanan Ahli delivered the UAE's speech at the Ministerial Conference on Empowerment, during which she emphasised that advancing gender balance is a long-term priority for the UAE and that women play a vital role in achieving prosperity and stability and actively contribute to sustainable economic growth, adding that the UAE believes that supporting working women and female entrepreneurs sustainably requires enhancing societal awareness on the importance of the role of women, as well as building a strong political and legislative structure to mainstream gender balance in all sectors.

Economy, Culture and Gender Balance

In a main discussion panel that explored the dynamic relationship between the economy, culture, and women's empowerment, Her Excellency Hanan Ahli emphasized the vital role of gender-disaggregated data in the UAE's ambitious Gender Balance Strategy for 2026. The UAE hasimplemented a ground-breaking Gender Responsive Budgeting pilot program which utilises gender and population data to identify opportunities to reallocate financing and establish new initiatives aimed at supporting, equipping, and funding women entrepreneurs.

The UAE is taking bold steps towards building a more equitable society, where women have equal opportunities to thrive and contribute to the nation's progress. Through data-driven policies and targeted support for women entrepreneurs, the nation aims to pave the way for a brighter and more gender-balanced future.

Her Excellency highlighted the UAE's firm belief in the indispensable connection between a strong economy and a vibrant culture for women's advancement. Recognizing the pivotal role of gender-balanced economies, she stressed the imperative of fair inclusion for women in all economic spheres, with special emphasis on supporting female entrepreneurs.

five sessions were held surrounding several topics including; the leadership role of women in diversity strategies in senior positions, benefiting from the digital environment to enhance financial inclusion, women in technology and innovation sectors, supporting women in the entrepreneurship sector, and reviewing inspiring success stories of women leaders in various fields. She highlighted the UAE’s unwavering commitment to cultivating the right cultural mindset, fostering community awareness, and creating a legal and political framework that provides unwavering support to women.

The UAE aims to unlock the full potential of women by building an environment that empowers women and encourages their participation and ignites true innovation. By championing a strong economy and embracing an inclusive culture, the UAE proves that empowering women is not only a key to progress but also a catalyst for transformative change.

The Gender balance Index pledged to accelerate the fifth goal

In her speech, HE Hanan Ahli referred to some initiatives that support women, establish gender balance in the government and private sectors, and enhance women's economic participation, including the Gender Balance Index awards that are presented annually to certain categories that support gender balance at the government level, and the SDG 5 Pledge to Accelerate Gender Balance in the UAE Private Sector, to which many major companies operating in various economic fields have joined and supported them in the entrepreneurial sector.

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