The UAE participated in the seventh ministerial conference on the role of women in the development process of member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, OIC.
The conference was held in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, under the title, 'Women’s Empowerment in the Member Countries: Challenges and Prospects'.
Dr. Maitha bint Salem Al Shamsi, Minister of State, led the UAE’s delegation that participated in the conference, which included Mohammed Issa Bouassiba, Representative of the United Nations, UN, Administration at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
During her speech, Dr. Al Shamsi conveyed the greetings of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, GWU, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation.
She also expressed her belief in the importance of women’s empowerment, through new visions and strategies with clear methodologies while conveying Sheikha Fatima’s message to the conference that urged its participants to cooperate and exchange expertise and knowledge.
Al Shamsi then presented the UAE’s policies and achievements while expressing its belief that women’s empowerment is important for modern, fair and tolerant communities. She also pointed out that on a local level, the UAE constitution grants equal rights to all its citizens, whether men and women, while noting that the UAE government recently adopted a new law on equal wages between men and women.
She stressed that the UAE supports the appointment of women in leading positions, which is reflected in its government, where women constitute a third of its members. A woman also occupies the position of the Speaker of the Federal National Council, FNC, and women are represented in the diplomatic corps and the FNC, she added.
Al Shamsi highlighted the role of the GWU, led by Sheikha Fatima, in influencing current national strategies and drafting new policies that aim to achieve women’s empowerment and integration, as per the UAE Vision 2021.
Under the patronage of Sheikha Fatima and due to the efforts of the communication office of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, UN Women, in Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC, countries in the UAE, a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, was signed between the Ministry of Defence, the GWU and UN Women, which aims to build the capacities of Arab women in military and peacekeeping work.
Al Shamsi presented statistics on the presence of women in various sectors in the UAE, which showed that Emirati women represent 43 percent of the workforce and occupy 66 percent of government jobs, including 30 percent of decision-making positions and 15 percent of technical roles.