On Sunday, the UAE celebrated the Gender Balance Index by presenting awards to government bodies working to ensure gender balance.
And the three awards were collected by male recipients, causing some backlash on international media, with outlets criticising the fact that it was a wholly male presence during the award ceremony.
However, the UAE Government has issued a statement on the matter, reminding everyone that the UAE Gender Balance Council was created under the leadership of Her Highness, Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
The statement says: “Since its creation, the Council’s efforts have steadily and surely enhanced gender balance across the nation.”
. @HHShkMohd: We are proud of the success of Emirati women and their role is central to shaping the future of the country. Gender balance has become a pillar in our governmental institutions. #UAE pic.twitter.com/zKPkn9nTMd
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) January 27, 2019
The statement says the men collecting awards actually shows how many people in the UAE are supporting this initiative:
“During the Index’s second edition, recipients of the Index’s awards happened to be entities led by men. This is indicative of the great and extraordinary progress we have made as a nation, where men in the UAE are proactively working alongside women to champion gender balance as a national priority.”
Previously, the UAE Gender Balance Seal was awarded to a female: “It is noteworthy to point out at this juncture that winners of the Index’s first edition in 2017 included Her Excellency Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Chairwoman of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority (FCSA), who received the ‘UAE Gender Balance Seal’.”
The Dubai Media Office also shared some facts about women in the UAE workplace
#UAE Women Facts:
9 female ministers out of 31
77% of Emirati women enroll in higher education
UAE guarantees equal pay for men&women
Women make up 66% of the public sector workers
Women to make up 50% of UAE National Council (Parliament)
For More Facts: https://t.co/XH2JsM6aqg
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) January 29, 2019
Read the full statement here.