UAE’s experience in women’s empowerment unique in region: Envoy
The UAE Permanent Representative to the UN and other international organisations in Geneva, Ambassador Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, has stressed that the UAE’s experience in women’s empowerment was unique in the region.
He made the remark in a speech at a panel discussion on women’s rights and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, held as part of the Human Rights Council’s 32nd regular session generic lipitor.
He cited the UAE Gender Balance Council, founded in February 2015 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to enhance women’s participation in shaping the future and the country’s approach to women’s empowerment.
He also noted that Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, in March 2015, had launched the National Strategy for Empowerment of Emirati Women in the UAE from 2015-2021 to provide a general framework for all government and private organisations to set work plans to empower women and engage them in sustainable development.
Al Zaabi also praised the General Assembly’s adoption of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015 as an important achievement in the efforts being made to realise the human rights of all and achieve gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls. This, he noted, would contribute towards finding solutions to future challenges including conflicts, peace-keeping and climate change.
The specific focus of the agenda’s Goal 5 on gender equality presents a critical opportunity to accelerate progress on women’s human rights, he added.
Through its nine targets, this goal recognises the fact that women’s oppression is grounded in structural forces and institutions, characterised by deeply embedded power inequalities and discriminatory norms which cut across economic, social, and political arenas.
Recognising the centrality of gender equality to the success of the 2030 Agenda, the panel discussion provided an opportunity to discuss how to operationalise the Sustainable Development Goals in compliance with human rights obligations, particularly related to gender equality and paying attention to the impact of intersecting forms of discrimination. It will be an opportunity for States, United Nations entities, civil society and other stakeholders to share good practices and suggestions on how to implement people-centered approaches to development, specifically in the area of gender equality, so as to deliver on the promise to leave no one behind.
The bid aims to change the course of the 21st century, Al Zaabi said, adding that the goal of leaving no one behind would not be possible without eliminating gender inequality and discrimination.
According to the United Nations, deep legal and legislative changes are needed to ensure women’s rights around the world, including in advanced nations. While a record 143 countries guaranteed equality between men and women in their Constitutions by 2014, another 52 had not taken this step. In many nations, gender discrimination is still woven through legal and social norms.
Stark gender disparities remain in economic and political realms. While there has been some progress over the decades, on average women in the labour market still earn 24 per cent less than men globally. As of August 2015, only 22 per cent of all national parliamentarians were female.