Women currently account for 66% of the UAE's labour force, and have a strong presence in education, health and banking, exceeding the presence of men
The UAE will celebrate Emirati Women’s Day on Wednesday, an annual event that will be held under the theme Women are the Icons of Tolerance.
Emirati Women’s Day also coincides this year with the Federal National Council election, in which the parliamentary participation of women is set to rise to 50 percent.
According to official statistics, women currently account for 66 percent of the UAE’s labour force, and have a strong presence in education, health and banking, exceeding the presence of men, state news agency WAM reported.
The UAE leads Arab countries in terms of gender balance, according to an annual index issued by the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP.
It also ranks high globally in terms of gender equality, especially with regards to literacy and participation in secondary and higher education, according to a report from the Forum World Economic Forum in 2016.
In education, 77 percent of Emirati women enrol in higher education after secondary school and make up 70 percent of all university graduates in the UAE.
Emirati women also have a strong presence in legal and civil society institutions, especially in the media and community sectors.
In 2015, the UAE launched the National Strategy for Empowerment of Emirati Women that provides a framework for all federal and local government entities, the private sector, as well as civil society organisations, to set plans and provide decent living standards and work for women.
The UAE Gender Balance Council launched a guide in September 2017 as a resource to develop clear procedures and adopt concrete action plans to entrench gender balance practices in the workplace.
To mark this year’s Emirati Women’s Day, five Emirati first officers at Emirates airline flew to five continents on the same day.
“Emirati women are icons of tolerance, exemplifying the core values held by our community via their care, determination, ability to nurture future generations, and pursue success in their various fields of work. Their hard work and talent have helped build our company and nation, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all Emirati women for setting new benchmarks and continuing to make us proud,” said Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive, Emirates Airline & Group.
In the Emirates Group, more than 1,100 Emirati women are employed across diverse functions.