UAE affirms support for women’s rights at Human Rights Council in Geneva

GENEVA, 21st June, 2018 (WAM) — The UAE has affirmed its support for women’s empowerment, through providing education and work opportunities, which will help women overcome discrimination and its negative effects, as the only way to protect women’s rights.

It made this statement during a speech by Rima Al Sharji, Second Secretary at the UAE Mission in Geneva, at the 38th session of the Human Rights Council, under the framework of the mission’s interactive dialogue with the working team responsible for combatting discrimination against women, as well as with the special rapporteur on human trafficking.

Al Sharji welcomed the members of the team and thanked them for their work during their first six-year term while expressing hope in their efforts to help create a favourable environment for promoting women’s rights.

She affirmed that despite the achievements of women in several human rights fields, it is clear from the team’s report that there are various discriminatory practices, which are obstacles preventing women from enjoying their full rights. This is particularly in the area of work opportunities, equal pay, participation in public life, and reaching leading decision-making positions, even 40 years after passing of the agreement to eliminate discrimination against women and implementation of related international and regional legislation.

She stressed that making laws and practices alone are not enough to eliminate discrimination against women as there are other factors in play such as gender-role stereotypes, marginalisation, exclusion, and backward ideas, which obstruct any advancement in women’s rights and their basic liberties.

In this context, she expressed her satisfaction with the team’s recommendations, especially Recommendation 90 (y) related to strengthening the fact that cultural, religious and family values do not go against the human rights of women and girls, especially in light of the role given by several communities, including the UAE, to the family, considering it the appropriate space to protect and strengthen the rights of all the members of a family.

Al Sharji said in conclusion that the UAE looks at women empowerment through education and work opportunities which help to overcome the tragedies of discrimination and its negative remnants. As the latest statistics show, over 32,000 Emirati women manage projects, the value of which range between US$45 and $50 billion. Emirati women also make up 43 percent of the workforce and 66 percent of government sector jobs, 30 percent of which are in higher leadership positions related to decision-making and 15 percent in technical jobs. In addition, they also have nine female ministers in the current government and a woman as the head the Federal National Council, FNC.

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