The United Arab Emirates’ Cabinet approved a bill guaranteeing equal pay for men and women as the Gulf nation strives to bring more females into its workforce. “We don’t want any exceptions to equal opportunities between the sexes,” UAE Prime Minister and Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid al-Maktoum said on Twitter. He didn’t say when the bill would be presented to the country’s advisory federal national council for final approval.
Women in the Middle East have struggled for representation in the workforce, often constrained by cultural norms that limit their job opportunities and advancement. A 2017 ranking by The World Economic Forum shows the region lagging others on gender equality. The UAE ranked 120 on a list of 144 countries, with Yemen coming last.
But the situation has been evolving in the Gulf as rulers seek to diversify and modernize their energy-reliant economies. The UAE has been working to close the gender gap by appointing women to its cabinet, federal national council and other state entities. Several banks in the Gulf have appointed women to lead them in recent years.
“Our constitution guarantees equal rights and responsibilities between the sexes and we aim to detail, execute and guarantee that right through the new law,” the prime minister wrote.
The Daily Star