In the United Arab Emirates, gender equality is highly valued, and men and women are guaranteed equal rights under the UAE Constitution. According to the Constitution, women have the same rights as men in terms of their legal standing, claim to titles, access to education, ability to pursue their professions, and ability to inherit property. Equal access to resources for work, health care, and family welfare is also guaranteed to women. According to the World Economic Forum’s 2022 Global Gender Gap report, the UAE is listed as one of the top countries in the region for gender equality. This success is a result of the fundamental conviction that men and women are partners in society on an equal terms. Women are taking on more leadership roles in business, government, and STEM professions thanks to a number of efforts from the public and private sectors.

The UAE committed to women, girls, and the world in 2004. The nation ratified the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in that year (CEDAW). The UAE strengthened its commitment to closing the gender gap by codifying many of the existing safeguards for women in the nation with the ratification of CEDAW.

Equality in Education and Literacy: The literacy rates of both women and men in the UAE are close to 95%. Today, more women than men complete secondary education and enroll in university and post-graduate institutions. 56% of UAE government university graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are women. In September 2014, the UAE opened the region’s first military college for women, Khawla bint Al Azwar Military School. The state-of-the-art military college provides world-class training, physical fitness sessions and leadership development. The UAE has four women fighter pilots and has also trained over 30 women to work with the country’s special security forces.

Women’s Economic Rights: The UAE has established a variety of initiatives over the years to support the economic empowerment of women in the nation. In the UAE, women actively participate in the private sector in a variety of positions. In accordance with national legislation, they enjoy equal access to economic resources, including guaranteed equal income, as well as ownership and control over land and other types of property, financial services, inheritance, and natural resources. In 2021, the UAE Security and Commodities Authority issued a mandate that listed companies must have at least one woman on their board of directors.

In recent years, the UAE has passed many laws pertaining to crucial advances in women’s rights, including a new labor legislation that included measures against harassment and discrimination, as well as equal pay and longer maternity leaves. The law regulating labour relations introduced major reforms beginning February 2, 2022, placing female empowerment at its centre. Article 4 of Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 regulating labour relations expressively stipulates equal pay for women performing the same job as men. Discrimination is also prohibited in terms of employment duties in the same workplace.

In March 2020, a new domestic violence statute that allowed victims to get restraining orders against abusers went into effect.

Emirati women are permitted to get a mortgage and own real estate. In fact, a recent research revealed that women own 30% of the real estate in Dubai.

Women in Government: As the only country in the MENA region that has achieved parity at the parliamentary level, the UAE is ranked 30th globally for advancing women’s political empowerment, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2022. Women comprise 50% of the Federal National Council (FNC), the UAE’s consultative parliamentary body. Women make up 42.5% of the diplomatic corps, and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has appointed 11 Emirati women as ambassadors and consuls general to represent the country internationally.

The UAE has also provided support for women’s empowerment programs through multilateral institutions. In 2016, the UAE opened a regional office for UN Women in Abu Dhabi, the first in the region. It has donated over $26 million to the organization since its founding in 2010 and ranked first in the Arab world and tenth globally in resource contribution in 2020. In November 2017, the UAE pledged $50 million to the World Bank’s Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative fund. The UAE is ranked 24th out of 170 nations and first in the region in the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security’s 2021 WPS Index, demonstrating the nation’s advancements in women’s inclusion, justice, and security.