View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Global Gender Gap Report: UAE Improving Opportunities for Women

The Gender Gap Index released this last week (7 November 2007) in Geneva showed encouraging improvement in the United Arab Emirates which now ranks 105 out of 128 countries involved in this annual study.

The Global Gender Gap Report 2007 is based on new methodology introduced last year and includes detailed profiles that provide insight into the economic, legal and social aspects of the gender gap in each country.

The Report measures the size of the gender gap in four critical areas of inequality between men and women:

1) Economic participation and opportunity – outcomes on salaries, participation levels and access to high-skilled employment

2) Educational attainment – outcomes on access to basic and higher level education

3) Political empowerment – outcomes on representation in decision-making structures

4) Health and survival – outcomes on life expectancy and sex ratio

Middle East, North Africa
Here are snippets from the summary of how nations in the Middle East and North Africa performed in this last year:

“Israel (36) continues to hold the top spot in the Middle East and North Africa region, favoured by higher-than-average performances on economic participation (45), educational attainment (38) and political empowerment (41). Relative to last year, Israel’s scores on economic participation improved: women’s labour force participation rates increased relative to those of men, as did women’s estimated earned income vis-à-vis that of men.”

“This year, we have included three new countries from the region: Syria, Qatar and Oman. Kuwait (96) remains the second-highest ranking country in the region, followed by Tunisia (102), Syria (103), Jordan (104), the United Arab Emirates (105), Algeria (108), Qatar (109), Bahrain (115), Oman (119), Egypt (120), Morocco (122), Saudi Arabia (124) and Yemen (128).”

“Most Arab world countries not only continue to perform far below the global average, but also do not show much improvement over the last year or have deteriorated. The exceptions are some of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.”

United Arab Emirates
“The United Arab Emirates had significant improvements on both economic participation and political empowerment sub-indexes. Wage inequality for similar work decreased and the gap between women and men’s estimated earned income also diminished. Furthermore, both women and men stood for election and voted for the first time in that country’s history. Nine women entered Parliament gaining 22.5 percent of the seats.

The detailed profile on the UAE performance in this last year can be found at this link:
UAE Profile

Source: The WEF Report is at this link:
The Global Gender Gap Report 2007

Image: Cover of the Gender gap 2007 Report