Women account for 66% of the UAE's labour force, according to official statistics
The achievements of Emirati women have been singled out for praise by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to celebrate Emirati Women’s Day on August 28.
To mark the occasion, Sheikh Mohammed posted a video on his social media platforms that celebrates the achievements of Emirati women in various fields.
“On Emirati Women’s Day, which falls on August 28 of each year, we celebrate mothers, sisters, wives and daughters,” he wrote.
This year, the event coincides with the UAE’s Federal National Council elections, which will see a significant number of women following a decision to raise the parliamentary participation of women to 50 percent.
The theme of the 2019 celebration of the event is “Women, Icons of Tolerance”.
According to official statistics, women currently account for 66 percent of the UAE’s labour force. In education, 77 percent of Emirati women enrol in higher education following secondary school, and account for 70 percent of all university graduates in the UAE.
Hessa Essa Buhamaid, Minister of Community Development, said that the occasion marks an important milestone for the country.
“The UAE wise leadership is known for its support of women’s empowerment and gender balance,” she said. “Additionally, the celebration of the “Emirati Women’s Day on August 28 each year is the founding anniversary of the General Women’s Union, which was established in 1975.”
In an Instagram post celebrating the success of Emirati women, the UAE Embassy in Washington DC shared a video featuring Maha Al Gergawi, Vice President of International Participants at Expo 2020 Dubai.
“When we look at the workforce at Expo 2020, it’s more than 50 percent women,” she said.
A separate post from the embassy showed Alia Al Neyadi, the UAE’s first Emirati ballerina. Other videos posted by the embassy features an Emirati women studying in the US, an aerial artist, and an architect.
The event was also marked by the launch of an award for traditional Bedouin ‘Nabati’ poetry, which will recognise the role of Emirati women in society. The award is named in honour of the late female Emirati poet Osha Bint Khalifa Alsuwaidi.
“With this esteemed award, we not only celebrate the legacy of the late Osha bint Khalifa Alsuwaidi, an Emirati symbol of talent, wisdom and literature, but we also aim to inspire the youth to follow in her footsteps,” said Noura Al Kaabi, the UAE’s Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development.
In 2015, the UAE launched the ‘National Strategy for Empowerment of Emirati Women’ that provides a legislative framework for federal and local government entities, the private sector and civil organisations to set plans and provide decent living standards for women.
Two years later, the UAE Gender Balance Council launched a guide entitled ‘Gender Balance Guide: Actions for UAE Organisations” to help develop guidelines and action plans to ensure gender balance in the workplace.
Women currently account for 66 percent of public sector positions and 75 percent of jobs in the health and education sectors in the UAE.