Social media users are ridiculing the UAE for not balancing the prize-giving of its annual Gender Balance Index Award, won entirely by men.
Rabat – The UAE vice-president and ruler of Dubai, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, awarded medals and certificates to all-male candidates on Sunday at the Gender Balance Index 2018 ceremony. The index awards people who promote gender equality.
“We are proud of the success of Emirati women and their role is central to shaping the future of the country. Gender balance has become a pillar in our governmental institutions,” the Dubai Media Office tweeted on Sunday, January 27, posting pictures of the winners.
. @HHShkMohd: We are proud of the success of Emirati women and their role is central to shaping the future of the country. Gender balance has become a pillar in our governmental institutions. #UAE pic.twitter.com/zKPkn9nTMd
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) January 27, 2019
Reacting to the prize-giving, many commenters on social media criticized the absence of women and ridiculed the Emirati government for choosing to honor only men when the initiative intends to foster gender equality in the workplace and promote fair opportunities.
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The Gender Balance Index features three award categories: “Best Personality for Supporting Gender Balance,” “Best Federal Entity for Supporting Gender Balance,” and “Best Initiative for Supporting Gender Balance.”
Scottish academic Gerry Hassan commented on the controversy through a tweet: “Tell me this isn’t a subversive satire on gender balance politics, patriarchy & #manels.”
— Gerry Hassan (@GerryHassan) January 27, 2019
According to a World Bank report, the Middle East had the lowest rate of female workplace participation in the world in 2016. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2017, the UAE ranked the second highest among Arab countries in terms of equal constitutional rights between men and women.