Washington, DC (28 August 2017) – Today, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Embassy in Washington, DC marked the occasion of Emirati Women’s Day. The annual celebration recognizes the important role of women in UAE society.
The theme of the day, “Women are partners in giving,” highlights women’s contributions to volunteerism and humanitarian work. The theme is in line with the designation of 2017 as the “Year of Giving,” as decreed by the UAE’s President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
“Women are the backbone of Emirati society and have played a significant role in the development of our country,” said UAE Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba. “Our leadership and constitution fully support the empowerment of women, and encourage them to participate in all fields.”
According to Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, Emirati women hold leadership positions at numerous UAE foundations and philanthropic organizations, helping the UAE achieve its place as the world’s largest per capita donor of foreign aid. In addition to humanitarian efforts, women in the UAE play important roles across a range of sectors, including STEM, business, military, government, and education.
“There are no barriers preventing Emirati women from succeeding and playing active roles in our society,” said Shaima Gargash, Head of Communications at the UAE Embassy. “I am proud to represent my country as a female diplomat in Washington, DC.”
In recent years, the UAE has made significant progress in women’s advancement and gender equality.
- The UAE is the first country in the region to enact legislation requiring female board members in every government agency.
- According to the 2016 WEF Global Gender Gap Report, the UAE is tied for #1 globally for women’s literacy and secondary and tertiary education enrollment.
- Emirati women hold 66% of government jobs, including 30% of senior decision-making positions.
- Women in the UAE make up 46% of the country’s graduates in STEM.
Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Founder and Chairwoman of the UAE General Women's Union, established Emirati Women’s Day in 2015. The date, August 28, marks the anniversary of the founding of the General Women's Union on August 28, 1975.
More on women in the United Arab Emirates here.