Dubai Women Establishment (DWE) announced a strategy on Emarati women that is set to guide the framing of the organisation’s initiatives and programs as of 2011. The segmentation aims at increasing the participation and prominence of UAE women in the workforce and society by addressing their varied needs.
The key themes developed and included in DWE’s Strategy are based on situational analyses, statistical findings and census data, and segments Emarati women as: Deciding Women, Developing Women, Balancing Women and Leading Women.
“DWE’s Strategy aims to ensure that Emarati women receive the consideration and support that is appropriate to their present situation, towards enhancing the role they play in the UAE’s growth and development,” says Her Highness Sheikha Manal Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Women Establishment, Wife of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs,.
“The definition of different key themes, and the setting of goals and strategies relevant to the unique needs of each, demonstrates the Government’s interest in and commitment to supporting Emarati women and ensuring they have the opportunity to make significant contributions to the UAE’s economy and society in the years to come,” Her Highness added.
According to the segmentation of DWE Strategy, ‘Deciding Woman’ include Emarati women who are able to work but choose not to work for various reasons (some of them have worked before and left employment permanently, usually after getting married or maternity leave, while others have never worked); ‘Developing Woman’ include Emarati women who are able and willing to work, including those women who are currently either employed or seeking employment; ‘Balancing Woman’ comprise of Emarati women who are currently employed but are at risk of leaving employment due to work-life balance being a concern; and ‘Leading Women’ include Emarati women who are employed and are pursuing leadership positions or who currently occupy positions of leadership.
Established in 2006 under law no. 24, issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, DWE is a statutory body of the Dubai Government that works to encourage and facilitate the participation of Emarati women in the workforce and society – a dimension that aligns with the UAE federal strategy – ‘Vision 2021’.
Commenting on the key themes adopted by the Strategic Plan cycle, Mona Al Marri, Chairperson of DWE Board said: “There is a tendency among employers – both in the public and private sector – to view all Emarati women as belonging to a single, homogenous group. This, however, does not reflect reality. The needs of Emarati women differ quite considerably based on their social and economic conditions, their participation position in the nation’s workforce.”
The segmentation, apart from defining the current role Emarati women play in the UAE’s economy and society, also sets desirable outcomes corresponding to each different group. These include having more ‘Deciding Women’ participate in the active workforce or return to work after maternity leave and motherhood. For ‘Developing Women’ the outcomes includes ensuring equitable access to career opportunities, equitable remuneration and life-long learning opportunities to overcome gender gaps in career development.
DWE will also provide recommendations that target improving work-life balance and employment environments to help retain women in the workforce, aimed at supporting ‘Balancing Women’. In addition, DWE programs and initiatives will also actively support ‘Leading Women’ by greater representation of women in decision making roles across key spheres.
“The goals and desirable outcomes set forth in DWE’s Strategy Document provides a blueprint for the tactics and channels to be employed during the coming two years. The desirable outcomes will include recommendations on policy reforms, extensive research exercises, awareness campaigns, training workshops and enhanced versions of the successful forums and gatherings, such as Arab Women Leadership Forum and the Emarati Leaders Gathering, for which DWE is renowned,” said Al Marri. “DWE plans on collaborating extensively with various stakeholders at a local, federal level and regional to make significant progress on participating Emarati women even further over the coming years,” she concluded.