Women Empowerment

United Arab Emirates and UN Women sign new agreement to open Liaison Office in Abu Dhabi

In an agreement signed today, the Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) committed to the opening of the new UN Women Liaison Office for Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Abu Dhabi. As a founding member of the Gulf Cooperation Council, UAE has poised itself as forward looking country committed to gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. It is also a top contributor to UN Women from the Arab Region.

The agreement was signed by UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri and UAE Assistant Minister for Legal Affairs Abdulrahim Yousif Al Awadi, who also signed onto UN Women’s HeforShe campaign.

“This is a pioneering moment and beginning of a new phase of our partnership,” said UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri, commending the leadership and political will that the Government of UAE has shown towards the advancement of gender equality and women’s empowerment.

UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri and UAE Assistant Minister for Legal Affairs Abdulrahim Yousif Al Awadi sign an agreement between UN Women and UAE to open a new UN Women Liaison Office in Abu Dhabi on 15 July. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

The Liaison Office in Abu Dhabi will be the only one of its kind in the region. The UN Women Liaison Office for GCC will be hosted by the General Women’s Union (GWU), which plays a fundamental role in empowering women in UAE at all levels. Due to the visionary leadership of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairperson of the GWU, the UN Women – UAE partnership has reached a new level with the signing of this agreement opening the way for enhanced and strengthened collaboration to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

A leader in the region on gender equality and women’s empowerment, in the recent years, UAE has developed several policies to support women’s economic empowerment and political participation at the national level. Today there are 20,000 women entrepreneurs in the UAE, comprising 10 per cent of all Emirati entrepreneurs—representing a 58 per cent growth since 2012. In December of 2012, UAE passed a law calling for women’s mandatory representation in all boards of governmental corporations and bodies, making it the first country in the region to implement such a law.

Representatives of UN Women and UAR at the 15 July signing of an agreement to open a new UN Women Liaison Office in Abu Dhabi. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

With Headquarters in New York, liaison offices in Belgium, Denmark, Japan and now UAE, and 89 country offices around the world, UN Women works to remove barriers to equal opportunities for women and girls and to ensure that laws and commitments on gender equality and women’s empowerment are fully implemented.

The new Liaison Office will have a strategic focus on partnership development in the area of policy advice and political advocacy with Gulf and Arab institutions. The office will also assist to advance the status of women in the region, support national governments in the Gulf Cooperation Council and strengthen collaboration on gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri and UAE Assistant Minister for Legal Affairs Abdulrahim Yousif Al Awadi at the signing of an agreement to open a new UN Women Liaison Office in Abu Dhabi. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown