Sharjah: During the opening ceremony of the second edition of the Women’s Economic Empowerment Global Summit (WEEGS) today (Tuesday), and in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, NAMA Women Advancement Establishment (NAMA), has announced progress made by 17 public and private sector entities in the UAE who signed up to the ‘Take a Pledge’ initiative, which NAMA launched two years ago at the summit’s debut edition.

Under the pledge, each organisation undertook an initiative, project or programme derived from the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) launched by UN Women and UN Global Compact. Over the course of two years, these institutions have reviewed their practices and developed new policies to achieve women’s empowerment in the workplace and community, supported women’s access to senior management positions based on gender equity, and considerably enhanced their opportunities for learning, training and professional development.

Each entity adopted at least two of the eight principles approved by the pledge to action, with NAMA closely following up and assessing the progress made on the implementation of the pledges within the decided two-year timeline.

The pledges

Sharjah Police proposed to develop an excellency award for its departments that supported women and boosted their active participation in the police sector. This initiative resulted in an increase in women’s participation in the sector, from 8.5 to 29.9 percent within the two-year period. They also trained the families of inmates in penal and correctional institutions to manage small businesses to secure a steady income.

Meanwhile, Sharjah Municipality (SM) set up breast-feeding rooms and a nursery for female staff’s children. Female employees of SM were equipped to train those working with the Sharjah Food Safety Programme (SFSP). The entity also launched initiatives to support female employees who own or run businesses.

Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) launched an educational programme to promote gender equity and women’s economic empowerment. It also allocated a comprehensive training programme based on feedback from 40 fresh Emirati female graduates.

Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA) launched several initiatives that includes local and international training programmes for SEWA’s female employees, a dedicated customer service window for businesswomen, and discounted charges for women-run businesses.

For its part, the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) pledged that it would increase the number of Emirati women working in the company to represent 47 percent of its local workforce, and also provide women more job opportunities in the clean energy sector. Additionally, their Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy (WiSER) platform with the three core pillars of education, engagement and empowerment, engaging women and young girls with real-world experiences to succeed across sectors of the sustainability industry by encouraging greater participation and leadership. Under the initiative, Masdar launched the WiSER Pioneers programme to empower its participants to become the next generation of sustainability leaders. The programme has successfully trained and graduated 20 young women aged 20 – 30.

Furthermore, NAMA signed a year-long partnership with WiSER this January to collaborate on several programmes designed to position women and girls of all nationalities as drivers of change and innovation, to further their joint ambition to empower present and future generations of female sustainability leaders and help them play more active roles in the attainment of the UN SDGs Agenda 2030.

Sharjah Education Council (SEC) supported working mothers through government-run nurseries, in addition to the ‘Al Elm Noor’ initiative that aims to support women's education and training. It also launched a Professional Diploma in Early Education initiative for staff working in government-run nurseries.

The Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services launched the ‘Zolia’ programme to enable special needs people and low-income women to launch their own projects to secure a fixed income.

Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), launched the Women Leadership Programme for Human Resources Development, in cooperation with colleges in the UAE, through which they hire fresh graduates, 44 percent of whom are women.

For its part, Crescent Enterprises developed their working environment to make it conducive for women to take on leadership positions and advance their capacities and skills. They also launched a ‘Motherhood’ policy to encourage women to continue working after they became mothers. 

Sharjah Women's Sports (SWS) launched the ‘Sports Future Pioneers’ programme to develop the capabilities and skills of sportswomen to hold leadership positions in the sports sector.

Sharjah Museums Authority has launched several initiatives to develop the capabilities of
mid-senior staff and supported female entrepreneurs in its events. 

Sharjah Foundation to Support Pioneering Entrepreneurs (RUWAD) has launched several programmes to train and support women-owned SMEs and home-based businesses, and launched an initiative to fund projects owned by Emirati women.

The Health Promotion Department in Sharjah held a series of campaigns to promote women’s health and awareness, in addition to a health survey for Sharjah Government employees.

In collaboration with the Higher Collages of Technology (HCT), the Sharjah Department of Economic Development  (SEDD) organised workshops to promote its Bairaq entrepreneurship project and licensing for female HCT students – both Emirati and expatriate, in addition to an exhibition to support national as well as home-based projects. 

Sharjah Broadcasting Authority (SBA) launched the ‘Female Pioneers’ programme to showcase success stories of 100 Emirati women. They also launched an initiative in all its departments to increase women’s representation.

The Sharjah International Airport Free Zone (SAIF) offered special services and facilities to female entrepreneurs, with up to 15 percent discount for the first three years of setting up their business. Other efforts include a series of training courses on tax collection, VAT and customs clearance.

NAMA and the London-based international organisation Global Thinkers Forum (GTF) launched the Athena MENA Mentoring Programme 2018 to broaden prospects for women’s empowerment by supporting 100 women in the region above age 22 to become business and community leaders by 2020. 


© Press Release 2019

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