Sheikha Manal commends move to put more women on companies' boards


The President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has praised the Securities and Commodities Authority's move to make women's representation mandatory on listed companies' boards.

Her Highness, who is also President of Dubai Women Establishment and wife of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, said the decision is a vital step towards further empowering women in line with international best practices.

She affirmed that it can bring wide-ranging positive benefits including enhanced performance of boards and companies, greater national economic growth and increased socio-economic participation.

"Increasing women’s representation on boards of directors contributes to achieving the objectives of the UAE Gender Balance Council to narrow the gender gap in all fields and increase women’s representation in leadership and decision-making positions in both public and private sectors," Sheikha Manal said.

Highlighting the fact that the UAE has made significant strides in enhancing women’s representation in decision-making positions, Her Highness said this commitment has led to the country becoming the first in the region to issue binding legislation mandating women’s representation on the boards of government institutions.

This was made possible by a decision of the UAE Cabinet, which adopted the "Women on Boards" initiative launched by Sheikha Manal in 2011.

She added that the steadfast support women have received from the UAE’s leadership and Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union (GWU), President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF), has made the nation a regional model for gender balance.

It has also advanced the country's place in international indicators and reports.

The UAE topped the Middle East and North Africa region rankings in the World Bank’s newly released 2021 ‘Women, Business and the Law’ (WBL) index.

The country also achieved the 18th ranking globally and maintained its top regional ranking in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 2020 Gender Inequality Index (GII) issued last December.

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