In an award ceremony to promote gender equality in the United Arab Emirates, all the awards were given to men!
Sheikh 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.
A statement from the Government of the UAE said, “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.”
According to a report by the CNN, the best personality award was won by Lieutenant General His Highness Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, for his work to introduce maternity leave for female soldiers in the UAE armed forces.
“We are proud of the success of Emirati women and their role is central to shaping the future of the country,” read a tweet from the official Dubai media office.
“Gender balance has become a pillar in our governmental institutions.”
However, the UAE is far better in terms of gender equality when it comes to he rest of the Middle East.
According to the World Bank, in 2016, the Middle East had the world’s lowest rate of female participation in the workforce at just under 22%.
However the picture is brighter in the UAE, where almost 42% of women work, not far off the global average of 49%. And 66% of public sector workers are women.