Dubai: The UAE Gender Balance Council (UAE GBC) has held a meeting with the World Bank to discuss cooperation to enhance women’s economic participation in the region.
During the meeting, held on the sidelines of the World Government Summit, Ms. Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, and Mr. Ferid Belhaj, Vice President of the World Bank for the Middle East and North Africa, discussed new avenues to strengthen knowledge exchange and closer collaboration to achieve their common objectives.
The two organisations have established a robust framework of cooperation, as part of which they established the “UAE Gender Balance Centre for Excellence and Knowledge Exchange,” a regional centre for promoting the development of gender balance expertise in the region.
Ms. Al Marri remarked that the UAE Gender Balance Council is committed to building global partnerships to advance women’s empowerment and gender balance as per the directives of Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed to undertake initiatives to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goal 5. According to the Vice President, the UAE GBC’s strong ties with the World Bank are demonstrated by the significant joint events and initiatives they have undertaken.
Ms. Al Marri and Mr. Ferid Belhaj explored ways to maximise the impact of the “UAE Gender Balance Centre for Excellence and Knowledge Exchange” by holding regular workshops and programs on raising women’s economic participation and increasing the proportion of women in leadership positions in vital sectors such as energy and climate.
The two sides affirmed their keenness to further enhance cooperation in many fields, including organising forums, developing programs, and conducting studies to resolve challenges and promote best practices in the fields of gender balance, energy, climate, and capacity building. The two sides agreed to jointly organise a series of high-level sessions during COP28 under the umbrella of the “UAE Gender Balance Centre for Excellence and Knowledge Exchange.”
Mr. Ferid Belhaj praised the UAE’s progress in advancing gender balance and supporting the economic empowerment of women, adding that “the UAE has set an inspiring example for the world in advancing gender balance in various spheres.” Its achievements are validated by the top rank it achieved for two consecutive years in the Middle East and North Africa region in the “Women, Business, and the Law” report issued annually by the World Bank. The UAE achieved a full score (100 points) in the five main pillars of the report, which are freedom of movement, workplaces, wages, entrepreneurship, and pension.
The World Bank Vice President further highlighted that the long-term partnership between the World Bank and the UAE will support efforts to promote a culture of gender balance in the region.