1. Hosting the United Nations Secretary General’s High-Level Panel (HLP) on Women's Economic Empowerment

In 2017, the UAE Gender Balance Council hosted the first United Nations Secretary General’s High-Level Panel (HLP) meeting on Women’s Economic Empowerment to take place in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The meeting was attended by a host of senior officials and representatives from international organisations and civil society, who came together to exchange insights into women’s economic participation, as well as discuss key challenges and develop new solutions.

2. Workshop to accelerate the implementation of SDG 5

During the 2017 World Government Summit in Dubai, the UAE Gender Balance Council hosted a three-day workshop to accelerate the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 – ‘achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’, as part of ‘SDGs in Action @ WGS’.

Organised by the World Government Summit in collaboration with the United Nations, the World Bank and the UN Foundation, ‘SDGs in Action @ WGS’ explored the role of science, technology and innovation (STI) in achieving the 17 SDGs, bringing together scientists, experts, government officials and other key stakeholders to discuss the key challenges of achieving each goal and to identify potential solutions to those challenges.

Throughout the three days, each of the ‘SDGs in Action @ WGS’ discussion groups were tasked with producing an STI-driven idea to support the implementation of their goal. The SDG 5 team presented their multiplatform campaign, 'GAME-IN’, which was ranked in third place by the audience, based on desirability, viability and feasibility.

‘GAME-IN’ revolves around encouraging schools, governments, corporations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to partner with their local stakeholders to launch multiplatform ICT campaigns on gender equality via SMS, video, radio, online games and applications etc., to disrupt negative gender stereotypes. The team also proposed the design of a multi-category global award to recognise the ICT campaigns with the most impact on gender balance, which would be segmented into categories designated to award schools, governments, corporations and NGOs.

3. Participating in the 61st Session of the ‘Commission on the Status of Women’

The UAE Gender Balance Council participated in the sixty-first session of the ‘Commission on the Status of Women’ (CSW61) in New York, which brought together 45 delegations from across the world, including representatives of UN Member States, UN entities and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), focused on shaping global standards of gender equality and the empowerment of women.

In line with the UAE’s commitment to enhance cooperation with regional and global entities to promote the exchange of expertise and ideas for strengthening female participation, the UAE Gender Balance Council held sideline meetings with the United Nations Development Program and UN Women.

United Nations Development Program

The Council met with Selim Jahan, Director of UNDP's Human Development Report Office (HDRO), to discuss His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai’s assigned mission to the UAE Gender Balance Council of establishing the UAE as one of the world’s top 25 countries in the UNDP’s “Gender Inequality Index” in support of SDG 5.

Within the framework of the meetings, the Council participated in a panel discussion during which the means to achieve the 8th SDG were discussed.

4. Participating in the 9th Gender Summit

A delegation from the UAE Gender Balance Council participated in the 9th edition of The Gender Summit, which was held at the European Union’s (EU) headquarters in Brussels. The event highlighted the most successful policies and initiatives established to support gender equality, particularly in the fields of technology, science, research and innovation.

5. Notable meetings in Washington

In 2017, the UAE Gender Balance Council attended introductory meetings with the World Bank Group, The Council of Women World Leaders and the Wilson Center in Washington D.C., to explore gender initiatives and projects, and discuss collaborative opportunities to work towards shared goals of narrowing the gender gap and enhancing women’s economic participation. Throughout the meetings, the main objectives of the Council were introduced, as well as its ongoing and upcoming initiatives.

6. Particpating in the 29th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva

The UAE Gender Balance Council participated in the 29th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in January 2018, as part of the UAE delegation headed by HE Dr. Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and included representatives of a number of federal bodies.

The Council was represented by HE Shamsa Saleh, Secretary General of the Council, and participated in an international discussion session organized by the General Women's Union on the sidelines of the meeting on 'The Efforts of the United Arab Emirates in the Field of Women's Empowerment and Gender Balance'. HE also discussed some of the achievements and successes of Emirati women and the efforts of the Council in enhancing the UAE's international competitiveness.