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UAE is determined to continue in the path of women revivalism - official

posted on 06/06/2009: 922 views



Geneva - The United Arab Emirates reiterated today before the world community, its determination to continue the march in the path of women revivalism.



Addressing the annual full-day discussion of the Human Rights Council on women's human rights on Thursday, the permanent representative of the UAE at the United Nations Office in Geneva Obeid Salem Al Za'abi said that since the formation of the UAE under the presidency of late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the leadership of the country was fully aware of the fact the woman is an equal partner in the process of national development.



The leadership of the country, inspired by its faith in gender equality, adopted a strategy of empowering women in cultural, social and economic fields, Al Za'abi said.



In an intervention made during the discussion, Al Za'abi portrayed how UAE worked to achieve the gender equality in rights and duties through guaranteeing women their right to ownership, employment, social security, economic and financial management, education, healthcare, earning, as well as many other rights.



In our country, the strong presence of women in the leadership roles and positions of decision making is not a new trend, but is a continuation of the march led by Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak though her ardent work for the renaissance of the women, said Al Za'abi.



He briefly shed light on various institutions in the UAE established with an objective of empowering women to play the equal role in the nation building. Al Za'abi drew a few examples such as the General Women's Union (GWU), which was founded by HH Sheikh Fatima and the Family Development Foundation (FDF).



Women in UAE holds four seats in the federal cabinet and fills nine seats in a total of 40 seats in the Federal National Council, the country's supreme legislative body. This in addition to a large number of key posts women hold in various ministries and local governments. More over, women represent 59 percent of the total work force in the UAE and enjoy equal opportunity in the economic life, Al Za'abi pointed out.



He also asserted the country's commitment to continue this march under the leadership of President HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.



The Human Rights Council's discussion on women's human rights was entitled equality before the law: concrete steps to further women's equality. The discussion focused on non-discrimination in the law, with a view to identifying concrete steps to further women's equality. The first part addressed institutional perspectives on equality before the law and the second part presented a wider perspective from academia and civil society.



Opening the discussion, Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said international human rights treaties prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex and included guarantees to ensure that women and men enjoyed their civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights on a basis of equality.



Despite this perception, global and national realities indicated that there was a wide gulf between international legal obligations and their implementation. Not only did inequality in the legal, civil, economic, political and social arenas violate international obligations, but it also compounded discrimination against women.



When race, religion, ethnicity, poverty, disability, social status, and other forms of discrimination were factored in, then the picture was one of even greater disparity. Moreover, inequality created a climate where violence against women and girls was considered acceptable.



Speaking in the first part of the discussion were Chile, India, Nigeria, Paraguay for MERCOSUR, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Norway, Czech Republic for the European Union, Bahrain, Azerbaijan, Switzerland, Philippines for ASEAN, Slovenia, Ukraine, Luxembourg, Russian Federation, Lithuania, Iceland, Turkey, Yemen, Kazakhstan, Serbia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Algeria, China, Indonesia, Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina and South Africa.



Also speaking were the Equality and Human Rights Commission of Great Britain and the National Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, national human rights institutions. Non-governmental organizations speaking were the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Equality Now, Amnesty International and Women's International Democratic Federation.



The following non-governmental organizations also took the floor: Center for Women's Global Leadership, Worldwide Organization for Women, International Federation of Human Rights and Interfaith International.



International human rights treaties prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex and included guarantees to ensure that women and men enjoyed their civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights on a basis of equality. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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