The role of Emirati women has developed significantly over the years. They have been able to overcome many of the challenges related to gender equality. In fact, UAE is making women a pillar in the country’s ‘Strategic Plan to Develop Diversity’. Ms. Hind Al Owais is a prime example. On 7 September 2015, she became the first Emirati woman appointed as a Senior Advisor. She will work in the office of the Deputy Executive Director, Lakshmi Puri, Assistant Secretary-General for Intergovernmental Support and Strategic Partnerships, at the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. This is an international position held at the UN headquarters in New York.
In her new role, Ms. Hind Al Owais, falls under the Permanent Mission of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations; she will be assisting the Deputy Executive Director “in building advocacy and substantive support on intergovernmental, non-governmental, and strategic partnerships,” tells the Gulf News.
This appointment comes shortly after the UAE declared 28 August as Emirati Women’s Day, as announced by H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak—to be in addition to celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8—and coincides with the fortieth anniversary of the establishment of the UAE General Women Union (GWU). This represents an opportunity for recognizing and celebrating the achievements of the UAE Women since the establishment of the GWU, Noura Al Suwaidi, director of GWU, said in The National post entitled “UAE to celebrate pride in its women.”
In her position, Ms. Al Owais will work to support women’s efforts for gender equality and to empower economically the women’s movement in the UAE. As an important country representative in the advisory groups’ talks, she will bring to the table matters of women’s rights and empowerment, while encouraging equal opportunities for more women to reach leadership positions.
According to the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Ms. Hind Abdulaziz Alowais (full name as written in the media) becomes the first UAE national to be posted at the UN NYC HQ since the UAE became a member of the United Nations in 1971.
Ms. Alowais’ advisor role in the Office of the Deputy Executive Director at the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) is a position “to ensure the integration of a gender perspective in the implementation of the sustainable development goals,” according to a report by the Gulf News.
Moving forward by looking back over many decades, the UN has made significant progress in advancing gender equality and, in recent time, so has the UAE. Though there is still much to achieve for women’s empowerment, the UAE Gender Equality is on the mend. Today, women are playing an increasingly stronger role in society and in leadership roles, with enormous socio-economic ramifications. Much of this has been achieved through the interventions of UAE’s government and their partners, including international agencies such as the United Nations; the goal is to have women enjoy economic and political power equal to men and open more doors for them in both society and the workforce.