Government Summit 2015: UAE set up new council to address gender gap

Government Summit 2015: UAE set up new council to address gender gap

Turning a corner in gender equality

Sheikh Mohammed shines a spotlight on the importance of closing the gender gap in UAE with the new 'UAE Gender Balance Scheme,' boosting the role of women in building the county's future. Sheikha Manal will chair the council, whose work will begin immediately...

Sheikh Mohammed took the time, during the second day of the Government Summit, to take the spotlight away from technology initiatives and shine the light on another important matter for the future of Dubai: gender equality. 

In an address the ruler of Dubai announced the new UAE Gender Balance scheme, a federal entity that will be chaired by Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, president of Dubai Women Establishment and wife of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The scheme will aim to redress the weighted balance of the gender scales and boost new efforts in levelling the equilibrium and uplift the role of women in shaping the future and development of the country. Work on the council's framework will begin "immediately."

Sheikha Manal delivered a rousing statement in which she said "The impact of a significant female presence in leadership roles has wide-ranging benefits on the economy, on governance, and on society at large. The UAE has always worked to dismantle barriers that create tension between the genders. We have a great opportunity to uncover new paths that we may walk on together."

These measures are crucial if the UAE is to improve its ranking Global Gender Gap Report, which currently reads from the bottom of the 142 country list, like a map of the region. The UAE sits at 115th position and Kuwait is the highest ranking gulf country, achieving only 113th place on the list. By these standards there is some way to go, and the appointment of the UAE Gender Balance scheme is an excellent start.