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General Women's Union hails President's political empowerment programme for women

posted on 27/01/2013: 2776 views

New York: The General Women's Union (GWU) emphasised the importance of the political empowerment programme which was launched by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan leading to putting women in the highest positions in all spheres including the executive, legislative and judicial authorities.

The Union also underlined the initiative launched by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2012 to introduce board gender quotas making representation of women to the boards of directors of the state owned companies and agencies mandatory. It hailed the move as huge support and a big boost to economic empowerment of Emirati women.

This came in the GWU's statement before the Executive Board of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) in its first regular session in New York on Friday.

The statement was read out by Dr. Moza Al-Shehhi, representative of the GWU to the UN body's meeting.

The initiative to make it compulsory for government corporations and agencies to include women on their boards of directors making the UAE the second country in the world after Norway in this regard will give women on the UAE a big economic boost, Al-Shehhi stressed.

GWU, the official representative of UAE women led by Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, the Chairwoman of the UAE General Women's Union (GWU), and of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) ) and Chairwoman of Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, vowed to continue to work on the implementation of UAE National Strategy for Advancement of Women which Sheikha Fatima launched in 2002, Al-Shehhi said.

Al-Shehhi noted that UAE's efforts to join the Executive Board of UN Women reflects its realisation of the importance of its mission as well as its strong belief in the entity's efforts to achievement full gender equality globally and empower women in developing and poor countries and conflict and disaster-hit zones in particular.

She hailed the UN Women's efforts to forge partnerships with the private sector. According to UN Women, having a broad array of partners who make distinct contributions fosters a widely shared commitment to upholding women's human rights. This translates into stronger capacities for action, including through sustainable coalitions that accelerate progress towards gender equality.

She said the UAE takes pride in its achievements in the area of gender equality and the empowerment of women in a short period of time as the prudent leadership, since the inception of the Federation, realised that women are an essential partner in the building of the modern state and the implementation of national development strategies.

The text of the constitution of the UAE clearly states and guarantees equality between men and women in all rights and duties, Al-Shehhi said adding that the UAE made the empowerment of women among its national priorities, and therefore all national entities worked on creating a favourable environment and providing resources in order to empower women, protect their rights and advance their status and potentials.

UAE Cabinet, in December 2012, made it compulsory for corporations and government agencies to include women on their boards of directors.

The historic decision was announced on Twitter by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai "Women proved themselves in many workplaces and today we want them to have a strong presence in decision-making positions in our institutions," Sheikh Mohammed tweeted on 10 December 2012.

According to Al-Shehhi, women in the UAE represent 60% of the government's workforce with 30% of them in decision-making positions. The Businesswomen Council has around 12000 members who run 11 enterprises with a total of Dh5.12 billion in investments. - Emirates News Agency, WAM


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