Meetings No 21
Gender Equality the New Growth Factor
Atti Soenarso on the silent knowledge women have built up.
Cover Story
Women Deliver
Focus on the Women Deliver Conference.
Women Leadership
Dubai Women Establishment
A champion for women’s participation.
IMEX Launch
The “She Means Business” event
The Future Disrupted
Rohit Talwar on shocks that could overturn our world.
A Life Remembered
Tim “Avicii” Bergling.
Young Leaders
Gaining Edge Scholars
Learning, contributing and building the future.
Smart Cities
How Does a City Become Smart?
Lessons from Tel Aviv.
Motivating Using the Right Mindset
Scientist Alva Appelgren on praise and learning.
Economic Impact
Regarding Rwanda
Becoming one of Africa’s leading business events destinations.
IMEX Frankfurt
Innovation and Inspiration.
MCI Experience
Kim Myhre: The power of brand experiences.
Johan Hagegård
“The future isn’t at all what it used to be.”
Habits to Build Your Empire
Robin Sharma: Resist the saboteur!
Collaboration is key in winning association meetings.
Brain Check
Cecilia Björkén-Nyberg
On reading printed books and listening to audiobooks.
Why Is It Taken for Granted That I’m the Boss?
Roger Kellerman: More Space to Women!
instant booking is here
Four Major Hotel Companies
Invest in Meetings Venue Tech.
urban transformation
ICC Sydney and Partners
Showcase First State Super Theatre.
increasing priority for travelers
CWT research reveals
business travelers are more health-conscious during trips.
2nd meeting city in UK
Conference & event organisers encouraged
to ‘Make it Edinburgh’ as city strengthens position as UK no.1 for hotel investment & development.
new job
New director appointed for Meet in Reykjavík
- Reykjavík Convention Bureau.
The world’s first carbon-neutral constructed convention centre
- The CCD, attracts European clean electricity conference.
connecting the future
Ocean Science
fuel innovation and conferences in Victoria.
business Intelligence
Sixth consecutive record year:
Vancouver welcomed 10.7 million visitors in 2018.
Baltic Trade Show
returns to Vilnius in 2020.
AEG Ogden
Cairns Convention Centre
expansion great news for region, says CEO.
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Dubai Women Establishment

The status of women within the UAE has flourished in parallel with the country’s growth since the federation was established in 1971. This was possible because of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan as he believed in women’s right to work and contribute to society. And that right would be based on merit and not favouritism. He said: “Women have the right to work everywhere. Like men, women deserve the right to occupy high positions according to their capabilities and qualifications.”

Four years after the establishment of the federation his wife Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, led the establishment of the UAE’s Women’s Federation, currently known as the General Women’s Union, with an aim of creating opportunities for women so that they may achieve their full potential.

The formation of the Dubai Women Establishment (DWE) in 2006 has an integral role in fulfilling the vision of the UAE leadership to encourage the sustainable integration of women in all fields and to facilitate their participation in the workforce.

Three years ago, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, announced the UAE Gender Balance Council as a government entity responsible for developing and implementing the gender balance agenda in the UAE. It works to reduce the gender gap across all government sectors in the country; enhance the UAE’s ranking in global competitiveness reports on gender equality; and promote gender balance in decision-making positions, as well as promote the UAE’s status as a benchmark for gender balance legislation. So far, UAE is the only country in the world to establish a government entity dedicated to this goal.

The Constitution of the UAE guarantees equal rights for both men and women. Under the Constitution, women enjoy the same legal status, claim to titles, access to education, the right to practice professions, and the right to inherit property as men. Women are also guaranteed the same access to employment, health and family welfare facilities. Women are playing an increasingly stronger role in business, military and in the government.

These are the results of the ongoing commitment of the UAE’s leadership to place the Emirati women at the forefront and further their vision of a balanced and progressive society. So, how does this impact our present? Two examples: In education there is a 95.8 per cent literacy rate. University graduates exceed 70 per cent, up from a mere 11.1 per cent in 1971.

In government 29 per cent of the UAE Cabinet of Ministers are women (nine ministers), which is almost a third of the cabinet. Women also have 20 per cent representation in the UAE Federal National Council.

When it comes to business over 23,000 registered women are running investments worth AED 50 billion. UAE is first in wage equality in the region, and among the top ten globally as per the World Economic Forum 2016 Gender Gap report.

The UAE has no health gap which includes the death-age gap; signifying that men and women enjoy equal access to health and wellbeing services. Emirati female role models are present in many diverse fields including renewable and nuclear energy, the aviation and space sectors, the oil industry and transport and Information and Communications Technologies (ICT).

The Dubai Women Establishment’s mission is to champion women’s participation in driving the socioeconomic future of Dubai through influencing policies, sharing knowledge and leading initiatives.

Last year DWE announced a five-year strategy based on the following four pillars:

1Catalyst for Change providing recommendations to shape policies and developing new initiatives to enhance the participation of Emirati women across the workforce.

2Research and Knowledge Hub involving in-depth research and studies, data profiling a knowledge exchange to drive the engagement of Emirati Women across various fields and sectors. Build on DWE’s position as a research and knowledge hub, locally, regionally and internationally. DWE is implementing the latest methodologies to identify, as well as analyse, the needs and barriers facing women in the workplace.

3Representation and Strategic Partnership fostering strategic partnerships across the public and private sectors and increasing the representation of Emirati women through integrated, high-impact initiatives. This will enhance their capabilities and strengthen their position in society.

4Development and Capacity Building developing customised, interactive programmes with leading institutions across the world to enhance the skills and capabilities of Emirati women, and foster the next generation of women leaders. DWE is continuing to proactively introduce disruptive, interactive and customised programmes to help women develop their skills across various sectors, as well as provide new platforms for female leaders through training programmes and professional development courses.

Some of the achievements in the UAE over the past ten years are: DWE mobilised the Corporate Childcare Policy in 2008, introduced the first Corporate Childcare Centre in the region in 2009, 1000+ working mothers benefited from 14 centres across Dubai government entities. Dubai Women Establishment advocated the amendment of maternity policy. In 2016, the national maternity policy got revised from two to three months of paid maternity leave for Dubai Government employees.

Since 2011 there have been many Women on Boards initiatives. Dubai Women Establishment became the first organisation to initiate the awareness to increase women on boards in the region. In 2012, DWE proposed the Women on Boards policy which was approved and implemented for the first time in the region. In 2016, there were 16.08 per cent of Women on Boards in Dubai, 17.23 per cent in federal and 1.08 per cent on listed companies. By 2020, Dubai Women Establishment aim to achieve 20 per cent participation in boards.

The government’s entity is striving to provide new platforms for Emirati women, by offering them opportunities to upgrade their skills sets and encouraging them to take on leadership positions across economic, social and political sectors. One the initiatives: 23 Executive Development trainings and programmes, where 570 Emirati women graduated and trained. Another initiative for women in leadership is a programme created to facilitate a paradigm shift in the way leadership is perceived through a futuristic approach and an emphasis on disruptive innovation.

Today, Dubai Women Establishment works to stay ahead of future trends and developments and to maintain their lead in the journey of gender equality towards stronger, more sustainable societies. DWE focus on creating the necessary paradigm shift that will trigger a leap in the role of women progressing society. They are pushing the boundaries, expanding the framework and applying disruptive innovation to their systems, education, the government and business environments. In short, Dubai Women Establishment play an active role in shaping the new ecosystem for the world of tomorrow.