NEW YORK – 19 March 2021 – The United Arab Emirates reaffirmed its longstanding commitment to achieving gender equality and advancing the role of women at the sixty-fifth session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

H.E. Hessa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, delivered the statement on behalf of the UAE at the general discussion via a recorded message noting that the UAE’s efforts include the elimination of all forms of violence against women and the protection of women’s rights. She underlined the prominent role played by women in the UAE’s leadership ranks and at the frontline of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “As the Minister of Community Development, I recruited more than 600,000 volunteers—53% of them are women—to help address the pandemic,” she said.

Minister Buhumaid highlighted recent legislative amendments made as part of the national effort to eliminate violence against women and to protect their rights. She referred to the Family Protection Policy & law issued by the UAE in 2019, which aim to strengthen the protection of women’s rights through legislation and to ensure a life free from violence against women.

Her Excellency emphasized the UAE’s commitment to supporting the role of women in decision-making by adopting quotas for women in managerial and leadership positions. In this regard, she noted that the UAE has achieved gender parity in its Federal National Council following the Presidential Decree of 2018, which stipulated that women needed to comprise 50 per cent of the body. She also highlighted that one third of the UAE’s current federal cabinet members are women.

Furthermore, Minister Buhumaid outlined the UAE’s national efforts in empowering women economically, including by ensuring equal opportunities for women and men in the workforce through the Law on Equal Wages and Salaries for Men and Women, which came into effect in 2020. She also drew attention to the law granting paid paternity leave in the private sector. Her Excellency said: “The goals achieved by the UAE have been made possible by the support of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, the mother of the nation & the leader of the UAE’s efforts to empower women to bridge the gaps in the process to achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls.”

Additionally, Her Excellency also reviewed how the UAE is empowering women and girls globally, also noting that it is one of three pillars of the country’s foreign aid policy. To this end, she affirmed the UAE’s commitment to the strategic partnership with UN Women. Since 2010, the UAE has contributed more than USD 36 million in support of strengthening UN Women’s important mandate and in support of achieving gender equality and empowering women worldwide.

The Commission of the Status of Women is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. Due to the pandemic, UN Member States, civil society organizations, and UN entities are gathering virtually for the annual two-week session.