Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 26 January 2020

Omani women account for over 40 per cent of government employees

Female empowerment is part of the Sultanate's 2040 Vision

Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly. AP
Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly. AP

Over 40 per cent of governmental employees in Oman are females, the country’s minister of commerce and industry has said.

Ali Al Sunaidi presented the Sultanate’s plans to meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) last week during a visit to the United Nations headquarters in New York, which comes in line with the country’s 2040 Vision.

“The number of women working in government accounts for 41 per cent and 54 per cent of university students are females,” Mr Al Sunaidi told the UN.

A significant fraction of the Sultanate’s Vision is focused of the empowerment of women, the minister said, adding that women have legal rights to equal opportunities in employment, promotion and wages both in the private and public sectors.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) hailed Oman’s efforts in empowering women this week including lower maternal mortality and morbidity, better education and healthy pregnancy.

“The first and main element is people, so that no one is left behind. Another element is an economy based on knowledge, which is extremely important,” Mr Al Sunaidi said.

Omani authorities are focusing their concentration on developing Vision 2040 on the country’s youth.

“We asked the public and in particular the youth, what do you want in 2040 and what do you expect from it? The answers covered many things, including technology, the fourth industrial revolution and empowering youth and women in society,” he said. The vision aims to double the Sultanate’s income by depending on non-oil sectors.

"Without peace and dialogue our vision for development would not be able to move forward," the minister said.

Mr Al Sunaidi met with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres during his trip to New York.

"The Sultanate is a partner to the UN, and it believes in its values and hopes to be a supporting force, promoting peace all over the world , wherever there is an opportunity to do so," he said.

Oman has built a reputation for itself in helping opposing sides find common ground in other difficult conflicts in the region.

“This is what we strive towards and that was what my meeting with the Secretary General was about. I am thankful and will go back to my country with positive notes from Mr Guterres about Oman’s role," Mr Al Sunaidi said.

The country's foreign affairs minister, Yusuf bin Alawi, is expected to visit Iran on Saturday to discuss regional developments, state media said on Monday.

The Sultanate on Sunday urged Tehran to release the British-flagged tanker Stena Impero, which Iran seized on Friday, and called on all parties to exercise restraint and resolve differences diplomatically.

The mediation efforts are not simply a boost to Oman’s diplomatic reputation, but as a country that aims to attract more tourists and become a major shipping hub, Oman has a direct stake in fostering regional stability.

Updated: July 22, 2019 05:26 PM