Dubai: The UAE Gender Balance Council (UAE GBC) took part in the Global Aviation Gender Summit 2023 conducted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Madrid.
The council discussed achieving gender equality and empowering women in aviation. UAE GBC participated in the Summit in association with the UAE delegation on the Council of ICAO under the directives of Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of UAE Gender Balance Council, wife of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court.
Under the leadership of Ms. Huda Al Hashimi, Deputy Minister of Cabinet Affairs for Strategic Affairs at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and member of the UAE GBC, and with the participation of Ms. Ayat Al Salmi, Senior Project Manager in the UAE GBC, the Council analyzed UAE’s contributions to achieve gender balance in all sectors and its regional and global accomplishments. Prominent personalities from governments, international organisations, experts and academics from the private sector participated in the Summit.
The Summit also shed light on the current situation and prospects for expanding partnerships and strengthening measures by airlines and authorities, which will help achieve accelerated progress towards gender equality and enhance women’s participation in the industry in line with the fifth goal of the sustainable development goals related to the empowerment of all women and girls around the world.
Ms. Al Hashimi played a key role in the Summit as a keynote speaker in the session “Harnessing the power of gender-responsive policies and financing”, which concentrated on the significance of incorporating a gender equality viewpoint into aviation policies, planning processes, strategies and frameworks.
In addition to Ms. Huda Al Hashimi, the session was attended by, Ms. Poppy Khoza, Director General, South African Civil Aviation Authority; Ms. Priscilla Mannis, Acting Head, of Administration and Finance, OSCE Mission to Kosovo; Ms. Gema Martin del Burgo, President of the Ellas Vuelan Alto; Ms. Katja Pehrman, Senior Adviser, UN Women, and Dr. Leslie Groves Williams, Senior Gender Equality and Leadership Consultant who moderated the panel discussion.
Ms. Al Hashimi met with Mr. Salvatore Sciacchitano, President of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and discussed promoting gender balance as well as the Global Accelerators Ambassadors Program which was launched in May 2023 at the organization’s headquarters in Montreal, Canada. The program aims to empower the organization’s leaders with the accelerators’ tools and methodology to support ICAO’s gender balance goals and transformational vision.
Ms. Al Hashimi also added the Council’s efforts to empower women through its initiatives, including the development of the “Gender Balance Guide” in cooperation with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the 22 new legislation and legal amendments issued during the past years in all the important sectors.
Deputy Minister of Cabinet Affairs indicated that approximately 27,000 women are currently employed in this sector, representing 42 percent of the workforce and that the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has worked to increase the percentage of women’s representation in leadership positions to 19 percent in general in 2022 and to 21 percent in technical specialities. The overall enabling environment in this sector has improved from 46 percent in 2017 to 86 percent in 2022, reflecting the efforts to provide a gender-friendly work environment.