The UAE is looking to introduce more regulations to help increase women’s presence in senior positions, the Emirates’ minister of economy told Gulf Business on the sidelines of an event.
“Yes, we are looking at some regulations where we can bring up the participation of women in the economy and it should not be a problem. It does not necessarily have to be laws…it could be regulations as well,” said Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri.
“We are specifically looking to see if something can be done to increase the participation of females on boards in public share holding companies, like women members on corporate boards of federal agencies.”
He did not specify any timeline for the reforms to be introduced in the country.
In his general address at the Women In Leadership Economic Forum in Dubai on Wednesday, he said that the UAE has achieved significant milestones in getting women to participate in the workforce while being the safest country for women in the world.
“I am very proud to share that the UAE has been ranked number one in the world for respecting women according to a report launched by the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council,” said Al Mansouri.
“We are also ranked first among Arab countries in enabling women in leadership and in parliament according to the Women Studies Center at the Arab Women Establishment in Paris.”
He added that the UAE is also the first Arab country and the second country globally to introduce mandatory quotas for females in boardrooms of government agencies.
Presently, women account for 16 per cent of the workforce in UAE government departments while 70 per cent of country’s college graduates are females.
But the minster said that more efforts needed to be taken to achieve an ideal participation rate by women.
He also urged for strong public private partnerships to empower women in the country.