ABU DHABI: Iva Hamel, the World Bank Representative in the UAE, has praised the UAE for being the most progressive country in the Middle East and North Africa in terms of women’s empowerment. She commended the UAE's commitment to supporting women’s role in the community and increasing their economic opportunities.

In her statement to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), Hamel said that, the UAE has taken unprecedented measures to enhance its position in gender balance in the region, and has become the first country in the Middle East and North Africa to implement parental leave for fathers. The country has also introduced legal provisions to ensure women receive equal pay and to prohibit gender-based discrimination in the workplace.

Hamel stressed that the UAE has maintained its advanced position in the latest World Bank report, which monitors the efforts of governments to issue laws aimed at achieving women’s economic empowerment.