UN Women’s Liaison Office in Abu Dhabi set to enhance the UAE’s position on gender parity

Polly Coleman
- Leadership - Jan 12, 2017

Reach is the first non-profit organization that is dedicated to structured mentoring and leadership development for women professionals in the Middle East. Mentors from Reach are experienced people willing to share their knowledge and expertise with their mentees, within strict rules of confidentiality, building trust and encouraging mutual respect.

According to Reach, the opening of the UN Women Liaison Office for Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Abu Dhabi on the 17th of October is expected to improve the United Arab Emirates’s position on gender parity by helping to further promote women’s empowerment and rights.

The UN Women Liaison Office for GCC was signed by Lakshmi Puri (UN Women Deputy Executive Director) and Abdulrahim Yousif Al Awadi (UAE Assistant Minister for Legal Affairs). It will be hosted by the General Women’s Union (GWU), which plays a vital role in empowering women in the United Arab Emirates at all levels. As a founding member of the GCC, the UAE has positioned itself as a forward-looking country that is committed to gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Commenting on the opening of the UN Women Liaison Office, Reach said: “The inauguration of the UN Women Liaison Office for GCC is reflective of the guidance and political will that the UAE Government has shown towards the advancement of gender equality and women’s empowerment. Much effort has been placed on enhancing the UAE’s ranking in global reports on gender equality - most recently the UAE Gender Balance Council was formed to drive women’s participation in national development.”

Currently, women hold 66 percent of all government positions. They manage around 25,000 economic and commercial enterprises that are worth an estimated $12.26 billion. They also hold several public offices, including the appointment of five female ministers to the UAE Cabinet in 2016. Gender equality is enshrined in the nation’s constitution, and the UAE is the first country in the Arab world to enforce quotas for women on the boards of government entities.

“The UAE leadership has high aspirations for women and as the country becomes increasingly aligned to UN standards we believe the recognition of women as key contributors will continue to grow. Gender parity is a progressive goal and one which will prove key to the UAE’s ongoing growth and future prosperity.” - Reach

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