Women in the UAE: The new decree will help improve public perception of how accessible board-level jobs are for Emirati women, says Noura Al Kaabi, Federal National Council member and chief executive of twofour54.
Noura Al Kaabi: Emirati women's contribution to benefit society
She is a member of the Federal National Council and the chief executive of the Abu Dhabi media free zone twofour54. Here, she talks about the federal decree requiring government entities to have women on their boards.
How will this law change public perception on what is acceptable for Emirati women?
This law will definitely improve the public perception of how accessible board level jobs are for Emirati women in the UAE. It is very clear to us and obvious how the women's role has expanded greatly over the past few decades and the country is known to acknowledge how important it is for women to participate in the workforce both in the public and private sectors. Emirati women have pushed for these improved opportunities and women in the UAE are already known for their commitment to their careers, their role in the workplace and their contribution to the economy.
What are the ramifications of the law in the UAE society?
The late president [and founder of the UAE] Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan said, "Nothing could delight me more than to see the woman taking up her distinctive position in society … Nothing should hinder her progress … Like men, women deserve the right to occupy high positions according to their capabilities and qualifications." It stands to reason that they should have an equal opportunity to sit on UAE boards. The contribution of women in these decision-making roles can only benefit UAE society and our country's economic competitiveness.
You tweeted it was only for Emirati women. What are the other tenets of the law and eligibility criteria?
Yes it is for UAE women. Other details have not been released yet.
How many women are currently represented on the boards of companies in the UAE?
There are numerous women represented on boards already and Emirati women currently occupy 66 per cent of government jobs.