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Nordic envoys say they share UAE’s commitment for gender equality

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By Binsal Abdulkader

ABU DHABI, 8th March, 2021 (WAM) -- The ambassadors of four Nordic countries to the UAE – Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden – have said their countries and the UAE share a common commitment to promote gender equality.

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, which is being celebrated on 8th March every year, the envoys noted the UAE’s achievements and leading rankings globally in terms of gender equality and women’s empowerment, and shared their satisfaction about the progress of a related partnership programme with the country.

"The Nordic countries and the UAE share a commitment to promote gender equality. For example, we agree that women’s active participation in the workforce is crucial for a sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development," said Marianne Nissila, the Finnish Ambassador to the UAE.

"The Nordic countries score high on global indexes measuring gender equality, and I would like to congratulate the UAE for climbing several positions in some of these indexes in recent years and taking the lead in gender equality in the region," she added.

"However, we all continue to face challenges, particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in realising full-scale gender equality. Therefore, further efforts are needed."

Talking about the joint initiatives in this regard, the ambassador cited Young Emirati Women for Success (YES! Mentorship Programme), which is a partnership between the Nordic embassies in the UAE and the Dubai Women Establishment.

"It is a mentorship programme for young Emirati female professionals, mentored by senior business executives with leadership experience from Nordic countries," she noted.

Franz-Michael Skjold Mellbin, the Danish Ambassador to the UAE, said the programme allows young Emirati women to grow in their careers, advance according to their abilities and give valuable inspiration and courage.

Denmark is happy to note the progress the UAE has made in recent years to promote gender equality in the workspace, Mellbin added.

"Meanwhile, men also need to be a part of the transformation of the Emirati workspace. It is critical that more Emirati men are active in promoting women in the workspace and this is why the YES! Programme welcomes both female and male mentors," he explained.

Henrik Landerholm, the Swedish Ambassador to the UAE, said cooperation in the area of gender equality is key for Sweden and he cited YES! Programme as an example.

"The empowerment of women in the UAE has been one of the most impressive developments in the history of the country. How the opportunities for girls and young women to study and to work have increased over time is a great achievement," Landerholm noted.

In celebration of the International Women’s Day, the Swedish embassy has gathered a team of 10 important Emirati and Arab women in the UAE, and they wore the Swedish football team shirt, he revealed.

"They have chosen a motivating quote on their backs by the women that inspire them. The embassy wants to highlight the success of these women – all are citizens or residents of the UAE – some have a direct connection to Sweden as citizens, and others who [already] have or will have future partnerships with us," the envoy explained.

For his part, Sten Arne Rosnes, the Ambassador of Norway, said, "Gender equality is a human right. But it is also about unlocking the full potential of a country. Promoting women’s rights is not just the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do."


WAM/ Ibrahim Shukralla

WAM/Binsal AbdulKader