UN Women applauds UAE for taking 'significant strides' towards gender equality


"The UAE has made significant strides towards equality and leads the MENA region in women’s empowerment."

In a statement released to the national news agency WAM on the occasion of International Women’s Day, the UN body specifically highlighted how "the recent legislations that offered women more rights and better protection".

The organisation commended the partnership shared with the country as they "jointly seek to push the gender equality agenda forward".

In the statement, Dr. Mouza Al Shehhi, Director, UN Women Liaison Office for the GCC, expressed pride at the "longstanding relationship" they've shared with the UAE government and "the General Women’s Union led by 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".

Between 2019 and 2020, the UAE has approved 11 new laws and legislative amendments to strengthen women's rights and ensure their overall empowerment.

In terms of political participation, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued a resolution in 2019 to raise the representation of women in the Federal National Council (FNC) to 50 per cent during the 2019 elections.

That's not all. The UAE amended the federal law to expand the 45-day maternity leave by five days for women, and became the first Arab country to grant five-day paid parental leave to private sector employees.

The UAE also stipulated equal wages for women and men in the private sector, if they perform the same work, or another of equal value.

His Highness Sheikh Khalifa also amended the penal code to repeal the article giving reduced (lenient) sentence in what is called "honour crimes".

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