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Closing the UAE’s Political Gender Gap: Measures for Effective Policy Change

Published on: September 2009​
Genre: Gender​ Category: Policy Brief/ Policy Note​

Studies have shown that the gender and identity of political leaders have a noticeable effect on their policy decisions, with policies prescribed by them often geared toward the needs of their own gender. To create balanced and effective policies, therefore, it is vital to ensure gender balance within the political decision making process. Greater inclusion of women in this process is not only a United Nations Millennium Development Goal, but also an essential step in representing 50 percent of the population, resulting in gender-balanced policy formulation and implementation, as well as more equitable allocation of resources.

This policy brief intends to clarify the extent of women’s political participation in the United Arab Emirates by analyzing its ranking in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index (GGGI), a standard benchmarking tool which ranks countries on gender equality by measuring gaps in their levels of gender equity. This brief focuses on the Index’s “political empowerment” sub-index in order to provide recommendations which may facilitate a more gender-balanced political environment, thereby contributing to the formulation of policies which better reflect the needs of both men and women in the UAE.

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