ABU DHABI, 2nd July, 2020 (WAM) — Today coincides with the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, UN Women, in a historical step taken by United Nations, UN, member countries to support gender equality and women’s empowerment.
The UAE has strong and growing ties with UN Women, as the country was a member of the UN Women’s Executive Board from 2013 to 2019, and took over the presidency of the Board in 2017.
During this period, the UAE provided regular financial support to support global women’s empowerment, and the UN Women Liaison Office for the Gulf Cooperation Council was inaugurated in Abu Dhabi in 2016, under the patronage of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, GWU, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, FDF, in partnership with the GWU.
Since its inauguration, the office in Abu Dhabi launched the “Women, Peace and Security Training Programme,” and over 350 women completed two editions of the programme and graduated in 2019 and 2020.
On this occasion, Noura Al Suwaidi, Director of the GWU, said, “The establishment of UN Women is a milestone for women around the world. It is the first organisation established by the international community to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment.”
She added that the UAE is aware of the importance of these efforts, noting the country’s women’s empowerment since its establishment on 2nd December, 1971, in light of the vision of the country’s leadership and the directives of Sheikha Fatima.
“Our close cooperation with UN Women is proof of the vision of the UAE’s leadership, which prioritises women, to enable them to achieve overall success,” she further added.
UN Women has worked with governments, private sector organisations and communities to draft laws, policies, programmes and services focussing on strengthening women’s political participation, reinforcing women’s economic empowerment, supporting women’s role in peace and security, and ending violence against women.
In 2019, UN Women has provided legal support to over 150,000 women and humanitarian relief aid to 509,000 women and girls. In the same year, 82 laws and policies were also adopted in 40 countries to economically empower women, and the international organisation supported survivors of violence in 49 countries.
Dr. Moza Al Shehhi, Director of the UN Women GCC Liaisons Office, stated that great achievements were accomplished through the presence and work of UN Women, and progress was made in gender equality and women’s representation in leading positions in politics and business.
As front-line responders, health professionals, community volunteers, transport and logistics managers, scientists and more, women are making critical contributions to address the outbreak every day.
The majority of caregivers, at home and in communities, are also women.
Additionally, they are at increased risk of infection and loss of livelihood, and existing trends point to less access to sexual and reproductive health and rise in domestic violence during crisis.
UN Women calls on governments to ensure that their COVID-19 response intentionally, strongly and permanently redresses long-standing inequalities facing women in order to create inclusive, equal, and more resilient societies.