Created in 2015, today is Emirati Women’s Day, a day celebrated annually as a tribute and firm dedication to the steadfast efforts and achievements by women. The date of August 28th also coincides with the day the UAE’s General Women’s Union was formed in 1975. Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Al Ketbi has stated for this year’s theme, it will be highlighting ‘Women: Ambitions & Inspiration for the Next 50 Years.’
Emirati Women’s Day aims to empower and acknowledge women who hold roles of leadership throughout the Gulf nation. These positions were made possible thanks to laws set in place that provided women with further opportunities to land managerial, executive, and legislative roles.
A safe nation for women
According to reports, the UAE was ranked first in the world in regards to treating women respectfully. Expat women have often felt safer walking around in the UAE than they do in their home country, and sexual harassment is rare and virtually non-existent. Women are paid equally to men, are allowed to own property and acquire a mortgage, can freely open their own businesses, are guaranteed paid maternity leave, and can vote in the Federal Nation Council (since the UAE is not a democratic country). Furthermore, the literacy rates for Emirati citizens stands at around 95%, both for men and women alike.
Emirati women have been constantly defining and redefining the nation’s relationship to feminism, and women empowerment has certainly gained popularity throughout the years. In addition to this, the UAE has also ratified the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, as it continues to declare gender equality to be of utmost priority amongst its citizens.