UAE commits $5m to UN gender equality agency

The UAE will be first Gulf nation to host a UN Women office 

The UAE has pledged funding of $5m over two years to support UN efforts to promote women’s empowerment worldwide. It will also host the first Gulf office of UN Women, the organisation responsible for driving UN goals on gender equality, in Abu Dhabi.

The UAE announced its package of support at a pledging conference at its headquarters in New York, US last week. The Gulf nation also committed to appointing a UAE adviser to join UN Women in New York, as well as supporting the agency’s preparations for a global review of women, peace and security to be held next year.

“These contributions demonstrate the UAE’s recognition of the importance and the value of the leading role played by UN Women in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women,” said Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, the UAE’s permanent representative to the UN. “It has been only four years since UN Women was established, yet it has already achieved concrete results.”

UN Women’s regional office in the UAE will be hosted at the General Women’s Union (GWU) in Abu Dhabi, which was established by Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak.

Established in 2010, UN Women is the UN’s body charged with supporting the development of global standards on gender equality and women’s empowerment and their implementation and oversight. The organisation works to end discrimination against women and girls worldwide, and help women access decent work and healthcare.

Thirty-nine countries pledged funds to UN Women at the conference, including three countries committing funds for the first time. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE are all donors to the organisation; the UAE pledged $2.5m to UN Women last year, according to the organisation’s 2013 donor list.

“We want to direct our energy and total commitment to the mission of our time which is to end all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls by 2030,” Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women’s executive director, told delegates.

UN Women has 10 country offices in Asia, including in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.