UAE Prospects on Work and Pay Equal Gender Status

When it comes to treatment of women versus men in the workplace, there’s still much to work on equal gender rights in the GCC countries. However, the UAE has taken measures to afford women full and equal status as citizens, lately, opening up potential new employment opportunities in all fields.

“Studies have shown, time and time again, that young women entering the labor market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are disadvantaged in comparison to their male peers,” as showed in the Bayt.com Status of Working Women in the Middle East Survey which explored the status of working women in the MENA and informing about the workplace inequality. The perceptions was also that women were treated unequally or unfavorably when it came to benefits (27%), salary (31%), and career progression opportunities (33%) as 2014 findings identified.

When it comes to equality at work, the 2014 study highlighted how many women believed they had fewer opportunities for job promotions (46%), declared they were in a stressful and demanding work environment (40%) and had a lack of job training and coaching (34%). This research uncovered that “while 51% of women think recruitment and selection opportunities are made regardless of gender, 60% of them still find it hard to find good job opportunities.”

In addition, the Education for Employment (EFE), Bayt.com and YouGov have released a white paper entitled “First Jobs for Young Women in the Middle East & North Africa: Expectations and Reality” which describes the widespread obstacles they face in entering the workforce including “the need for flexible working hours to care for family as a top challenge.” As well, there were the salary expectations. “When it comes to salary, 50% [up from 43% in 2015] of women surveyed [most recently in 2016] believe that they receive less pay than their male counterparts.”

The data from the Working Women in the Middle East and North Africa survey by YouGov and Bayt.com mentioned that the top three reasons women seek employment in the MENA region are to become financially independent (59%, up from 57%), to broaden their perspectives on life (50%), and to be able to support their household (50%, up from 49%).

Luckily, things are changing in the latest years and months. Today, the Emirates is one of the GCC countries and among the MENA regions that have closed or nearly closed the gender gap on work and pay, which initiatives geared towards promoting UAE Gender Equality in Education, Business and Society. According to YouGov, in fact, the career outlook for women is brighter, especially for those that balance their careers with family responsibility and other personal obligations. The labor laws in the country are now, more than ever, being fair to women. This is confirmed also by the results from 2017’s ‘Working Women’ survey reported Bayt.com

What’s new? A UAE draft law of gender equal pay was just approved by the UAE Cabinet to ensure no more discrimination among genders when it comes to wages; the Emirates that were ranked 120 out of 144 countries in the 2017 World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report are now making strides towards climbing to much better positions.

UAE Prospects on Work and Pay Equal Gender Status

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