UAE’s equal pay move for private sector women hailed

The UAE President has issued a decree, stipulating equal wages for women and men in the private sector, effective immediately.

The first article of the decree, issued by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, says that female employees shall receive wages equal to that of males if they perform the same work, or another of equal value.

It added that the procedures, controls and standards necessary for evaluating work of equal value will be set under a decision to be issued by the Cabinet, based on a proposal from the Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

The amended article supports the UAE’s objective of reinforcing gender equality in terms of wages and salaries in the private sector, state news agency WAM said.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation stressed that the new amendments will help strengthen the country’s regional and international status for upholding gender equality.

The move has been hailed by prominent women in the country.

Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed, wife of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and president of the UAE Gender Balance Council, said: “Keen on further advancing female empowerment, the UAE President has issued a law ensuring that women receive equal pay as men in the private sector.”

Sheikh Manal, who is also the president of Dubai Women Establishment, tweeted: “Congratulations to all the women working in the UAE private sector. This step will undoubtedly boost the social inclusivity of women, support their role in national development, and advance the UAE’s status on the world’s Gender Equality Index.”

Alisha Moopen (pictured above), deputy managing director, Aster DM Healthcare, added: “Any nation, community or organisation that doesn’t unlock the full potential of its entire population is losing half its resource power.

“Another brilliant and forward looking move by UAE and our beloved President that has enforced the equal pay for equal work irrespective of gender. I feel so proud and excited for such progressive moves that will continue to propel this country forward.

“I am positive this will turbo charge the growth of Uae still further more & will be a game changer for this region.”

The move comes in the same week that it was revealed that under one in five representatives at executive level in UAE companies are females.

According to the latest research from global giant Great Place to Work, the average companies in the region have 37 percent female workers, 28 percent female managers and 19 percent of the executive team made up of women.

This compared more favourably against other parts of the world, particularly for the executive roles, with India (17 percent), Japan (16 percent) and South Korea (15 percent) all falling behind the UAE.

It also showed that organisations hailed as ‘Great Places to Work’ in the UAE boast an average female workforce of 30 percent – while in Saudi Arabia this number drops as low as 14 percent. It compares to 49 percent in Greater China and 43 percent in Singapore.

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