All Winners at UAE’s Gender Equality at Workplace Awards are Men

‘Look at these men finally being recognised’: Twitter on UAE’s Gender Awards.

2 min read
‘Look at these men finally being recognised: Twitter on UAE’s Gender Awards

What do you call gender equality awards that only go to men? Awards for men.

On 27 January when the UAE awards for ‘gender equality at workplace’ were announced, it became a bit of a joke when all the recipients were men.

Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the vice-president of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, presented prizes to award winners at the Gender Balance Index 2018 in three categories, all of which were collected by men.

Awards for Best Personality for Supporting Gender Balance, Best Federal Entity for Supporting Gender Balance, and the Best Initiative for Supporting Gender Balance were part of an event designed to celebrate initiatives and programs that promote equal opportunities for men and women. 
A government official to CNN

The awards went to the finance ministry, the federal competitiveness and statistics authority and ministry of human resources respectively, which were all represented by male awardees.

The deputy prime minister and minister of the interior, Lt Gen Sheikh Saif bin Zayed al-Nahyan, was recognised as the “best personality supporting gender balance” for his efforts to implement maternity leave in the UAE’s military.

The UAE’s Gender Balance Index awards recognise progress made in the public sector over the last year in meeting parity goals set by the government in 2015.
The Guardian

‘Look at These Men Finally Being recognized’: Sentiment on Twitter

The tweet by the Dubai media office met with a lot of ridicule online. People were flummoxed by the irony of the awards: gender was being celebrated by the absence of any diversity.


A United Nations Development Programme study from 2018 found that the UAE was the Gulf country that ranked highest for gender equality and had made significant progress in bringing women into the workforce.

According to the Guardian, the report found that by 2015, 135,000 Emirati women participated in the labour market, compared with just 1,000 in 1975, and 43% of women now hold bachelor’s degrees, compared with 23% of men.

However, according to rights groups, gender discrimination is still an entrenched problem across the UAE, particularly in the legal system, which prioritises men’s rights in family and personal status matters such as marriage, divorce and custody of children. UAE law also permits domestic violence as long as the assault does not exceed the limits set by Islamic law.
The Guardian

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