The nation’s commitment to trying to achieve gender equality has come under the spotlight at the World Government Summit.

It’s no secret that the UAE is on a big push for gender equality over the next few years.

In fact, the Emirates hopes to become one of world’s top 25 countries for gender equality by 2021.

In recent times, the nation has seen the introduction of a gender balance guide for companiesimproved maternity leave for government workers, and the formation of a Gender Balance Council.

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And the latter has been at this week’s World Government Summit, discussing its hopes to implement gender responsive budgeting.

HE Mona Al Marri, Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, attended a panel focused on the topic, along with representatives from the UAE Ministry of Finance, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and UN Women.

Al Marri told attendees that in the last three years, the Gender Balance Council has “created a lasting, positive impact on both a local and regional level by introducing a range of initiatives to reduce the gender gap across all sectors”.

HE Mona Al Marri

“We’re incredibly proud of the significant progress that’s been made in such a short space of time.”

Al Marri described gender responsive budgeting as “a crucial and innovative approach to promoting gender balance around the world”.

HH Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, also added that “achieving greater gender balance across all sectors in the UAE is an important national priority”.

“Incorporating gender into financial and economic policy has long been identified as a key enabler to reduce gender disparities.”

Gender responsive budgeting was one of the key recommendations outlined in the Council’s Gender Balance Guide, a manual released last year to advance gender balance across public and private entities in the UAE.

gender balance generic

During the WGS panel, HE Younis Haji Al Khouri, Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Finance, added that the nation has “made significant progress in enhancing gender balance on both social and economic levels”.

“The country has successfully established itself as a role model for the advancement of women, in line with the National Strategy for Empowerment of Emirati Women 2015-2021,” he added.

“The UAE currently has nine female ministers representing 29.5 per cent of ministerial roles, reflecting the trust that the country places in female leadership.”

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The UAE Gender Balance Council was launched in 2015 by HH Sheikh Mohammed to help achieve gender balance in decision-making roles, and position the Emirates as a role model in gender balance.

The council is responsible for making recommendations on regulations, policies, programmes and initiatives (such as helping extend maternity leave).

And we’re excited to see what plans it has in store for 2018…

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Images: Getty, Dubai Media Office