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General News, The Leader - 11 December, 2017

Mohammed bin Rashid honours winners of the Gender Balance Index

Mohammed bin Rashid: Equal opportunities for men and women support both social cohesion and economic development
Manal bint Mohammed: The Index reflects the importance of gender balance in the national agenda
• Abdullah bin Zayed named Best Personality for Supporting Gender Balance
• Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority receives the ‘UAE Gender Balance Seal’
• Securities and Commodities Authority honoured for Best Initiative for Supporting Gender Balance

Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said that gender balance is an important element of the national agenda and the UAE Vision 2021. His Highness emphasised that enhancing gender balance in the UAE will contribute to sustainable development and the fulfillment of the UAE’s commitments to the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed said that the country, under the leadership of UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, invests in the development of its people, and considers both women and men as equal partners in national development. The UAE continues to follow the path established by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who built strong foundations for gender equality with the support of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation. Sheikh Zayed created an environment that enables all members of the society to positively contribute to the UAE’s progress, he added.

HH Sheikh Mohammed further said that that one of the UAE’s key priorities is to become one of the highest ranked countries globally in gender balance. Ensuring equal opportunities for men and women supports both social cohesion and economic development, he said.

His Highness’s comments came during a ceremony held to honour the winners of the Gender Balance Index 2017. The Index features three categories: Best Personality for Supporting Gender Balance, Best Federal Entity for Supporting Gender Balance, and the Best Initiative for Supporting Gender Balance.

HH Sheikh Mohammed honoured His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation with a medal for being named as the Best Personality for Supporting Gender Balance. His Highness also honoured the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority (FCSA) as the Best Federal Entity for Supporting Gender Balance. HE Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Chairwoman of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority received the ‘UAE Gender Balance Seal’. The UAE Securities and Commodities Authority was honoured in the category of Best Initiative for Supporting Gender Balance for its ‘Women in Boards’ initiative. HE Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy and Chairman of the SCA Board of Directors received the trophy.

Motivation for all
Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council and wife of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and UAE Minister of Presidential Affairs, expressed her gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for honouring the winners of the inaugural Gender Balance Index. Her Highness said that this recognition from the leadership reflects the importance of gender balance in the national agenda, and encourages all private and governmental entities to strive for further progress in this field.

Her Highness thanked the UAE Government for incorporating gender balance into the country’s national indicators, which measure the performance of all organisations. This will support the UAE’s national goals as well as the UAE Gender Balance Council’s vision to establish the country as a role model for gender balance legislation in the region. Her Highness also highlighted the strategic partnership with the Prime Minister’s Office to work on the results of the Index by reviewing the initiatives and procedures of the federal government organisations, and the policies they have adopted to support gender balance.

Global Standards for the Gender Balance Index
HE Mona Al Marri, Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council said that the UAE’s Gender Balance Index is based on the highest national and global benchmarks that include the UAE Cabinet’s national indicators and the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) ‘Gender Inequality Index’.

Best Personality for Supporting Gender Balance … Abdullah bin Zayed
The first category of the Index recognises individuals who have played a key role in their organisation to achieve gender balance, provide equal opportunities and establish an environment that supports both men and women. It also honours individuals who have positively impacted gender balance locally, regionally and internationally, and contributed to enhancing the UAE’s ranking in global competitiveness reports.

His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan was named Best Personality for Supporting Gender Balance in recognition for the strong support he has provided to women in the diplomatic sector, which has helped numerous Emirati women achieve global success. Currently, women represent 20% of employees in the diplomatic sector in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Best Federal Entity for Supporting Gender Balance … The Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority receives the UAE Gender Balance Seal

The selection of the government entity to be awarded the ‘UAE Gender Balance Seal’ was based on three major criteria - decision-making, education and experience, and a supportive environment for working mothers. Evaluation in this category was based on statistics from the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR), and polls conducted by a neutral party among more than 64,000 employees in the federal government. The Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority was named the recipient of the ‘UAE Gender Balance Seal’.

Women in Boards in the Securities and Commodities Authority
Evaluation in the third category of Best Initiative for Supporting Gender Balance was based on best practices, projects, and policies and legislations established to support gender balance.

The Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) was named the Best Initiative for Supporting Gender Balance category for its ‘Women in Boards’ initiative, for which it received a trophy. The Authority introduced a requirement for all public companies listed in the security markets to have female representation on their Boards of Directors, and to ensure that at least one candidate for each board membership is a woman. This decision, which is in line with international best practices, as well as SCA’s governance rules, encourages women to run for leading positions on the Boards of Directors of public shareholding companies. The Authority aims to increase female representation on the Boards of Directors of public shareholding companies to 20% by 2020.

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12 December, 2017

Mohammed bin Rashid attends Arab Strategy Forum