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Women in the UAE: Changing of the Roles Essay


We live in a world that changes every moment. The scale of these alterations might be different; however, they contribute to the increased diversity and emergence of new factors impacting the global discourse. Thus, speaking about the critical changes, it is impossible not to mention the Middle Eastern region which could be considered one of the fastest-changing areas of the world. For instance, one of its leading states, the UAE, emerged in 1971 as a federation of seven emirates; however, despite its short history, it is one of the brightest examples of radical changes. The state managed to rise from the local commonwealth with numerous problematic issues to one of the influential actors in the international policy and economy. It became possible due to drastic changes in its economy, social life, and peoples mentalities.

Change of the Role of Women

The sphere of gender relations and human rights is one of the ongoing issues for the region. Being a region traditionally associated with gender-based discrimination and biased attitude toward women, the UAE had cultivated a new perspective on their role in the nation-building process (“Women in the UAE”). At the very first stages of the states evolution, female employees were deprived of an opportunity to perform different tasks and participate in social discourse. However, nowadays, women play a crucial role in the evolution of the UAE and its further development. They play an active role in both private and governmental sectors which means that females could engage in entrepreneurship or political processes (Ministry of State).

Moreover, the government of the state accepts the responsibility of protecting and cultivating the status of women and provides them with equal opportunities and working conditions (Ministry of State). For this reason, 49,3% of the population comprised of women is now a powerful tool that is used to create the basis for the further evolution of the UAE (Ministry of State). Moreover, considering current tendencies in the sphere and the countrys desire to continue its rise, the further improvement of womens position could be predicted. The governmental incentives support these processes and create the basis for the future enhancement of the situation.

Impact of Womens Empowerment

The fact is that the increased number of women who work in military forces, business, or political sphere has a positive impact on the UAE and its future. First, the intelligent potential of any state benefits from ideas and contributions of all citizens no matter what their race or gender is. In such a way, creating the basis for women inclusion and encouraging their participation in crucial processes, the UAE welcomes thousands of new ideas that would be presented by women in their workplaces. Second, these critical changes in perspectives on women result in fundamental shifts in peoples mentalities that are essential for the future of the state. Bearers of a new worldview will be able to use innovative and efficient approaches to perform complex tasks and help the country to evolve (“Women in the UAE”). Additionally, the gradual improvement of female roles and their engagement in social discourse improve the international image of the UAE and destroy a stereotypical image related to women’s discrimination in the state. It helps to attract foreign partners and workers with outstanding experience who could help the country evolve and become even more powerful.


Another important aspect related to the creation of a comparatively new state and its further rise is nationalism. Today, it might be associated with some negative trends like the discrimination of particular minorities or privileged status of different populations. However, regarding the UAE, nationalism could be helpful as it will cultivate the further development of the state. Therefore, the commonwealth emerged in 1971 as a union of seven emirates which means that the structure of the population was not homogeneous and people did not have common history and traditions of living in one state (Ministry of State). For this reason, nationalism is fundamental for the creation of nationhood in the UAE, elaboration of its own unique culture, traditions, and experiences. At the same time, it could help the state to find its own place in the international discourse and follow its unique course to attain success and build a strong commonwealth. Moreover, it could promote enhanced gender equality by shaping peoples mentalities in a new more tolerant way which presupposes equal opportunities for all genders and an ability to participate in the life of the state.

UAEs Unique Approach to Equality

Nevertheless, analyzing the UAEs society and its gender framework, one could admit that the state remains unique as it holds leading positions in the region regarding tolerance and human rights (Ministry of State). The fact is that gender equality is of paramount significance for the UAEs government which is evidenced by the Constitution that ensures the same rights for both men and women (Ministry of State). Women have the same legal status, access to education, professions, and opportunities for both personal and professional development. They could inherit property and manage it. Additionally, at the moment about 77% of women living in the state are enrolled in higher education, and they comprise 46% of university graduates in science, technology, and other spheres (Ministry of State). These facts evidence the UAEs different positions regarding gender issues. As against its neighbors, the state cultivates tolerance and could already boast its achievements in this sphere.

Further Empowerment of the Government

In general, all the above-mentioned alterations and processes within the Emirates could be considered regarding the governments attempts to eliminate the decentralization pattern and introduce a unified policy that will contribute to the further evolution of the state. That is why much emphasis is on the alteration residents mentalities and elaboration of nationhood characterized by strong bonds between individuals living in different regions of the state (“Women in the UAE”). Additionally, reconsideration of the role of women and their involvement in social processes is one of the factors that prove the tendency towards the appearance of stronger government. It creates a new society that cultivates such values as tolerance and national identity. In this regard, the current UAEs course could be considered an efficient approach to preserve the existing political system and the states unity.


However, this success does not mean that the UAE has managed to overcome all challenges. On the contrary, being an emerging nation, it still has much to be done. As it has already been mentioned, the state introduced numerous regulations guaranteeing equal participation in the majority of social and economic issues regardless of gender. Moreover, women can enroll in educational establishments, join military forces, and become entrepreneurs. At the same time, previously male-dominated field like the government or public sector needs further reconsideration because of the low percentage of female representatives (“Women in the UAE”). In such a way, women should be encouraged to enter these domains to contribute to their development. For this reason, women should be provided with a particular platform to start building their careers in this field. It could also help to organize an equal society.

Immigrants and Foreign Workers

Nevertheless, there is another significant issue the government of the UAE should consider. At the moment, a large percentage of the population is comprised of expatriates and foreign workers invited because of their competence and expertise in innovative fields (“UAE Has One of Strongest Human Rights Records in Region”). In such a way, the state becomes extremely dependent on their labor and contribution to the development of different spheres. For instance, foreign specialists engage in the functioning of the healthcare sector and the oil industry (“UAE Has One of Strongest”). Moreover, immigrants from other states work in the services sector and perform numerous functions guaranteeing its high efficiency. For this reason, at the moment the UAE is extremely dependent on foreign workers and their activity. The given situation might be dangerous for the further development of the state because of the lack of its own human resources. However, there are attempts to alter the sphere and prepare local specialists who will be able to acquire needed knowledge and experience and replace employees from other states.


Altogether, the UAE passes through the stage of its rapid development. That is why there are numerous changes in its society and peoples mentalities. The question of equality is the central one as it remains crucial for the formation of the worldview needed to support the states further evolution and guarantee its integration in the international discourse. The UAE managed to achieve great success in the sphere of human rights and created beneficial conditions for womens personal and professional development. However, there are still numerous challenges that should be overcome to form the basis for further evolution.

Works Cited

Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs. Web.

Emirates 24. 2013, Web.

UAE-embassy.org, Web.

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"Women in the UAE: Changing of the Roles." IvyPanda, 14 Oct. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/women-in-the-uae-changing-of-the-roles/.

1. IvyPanda. "Women in the UAE: Changing of the Roles." October 14, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/women-in-the-uae-changing-of-the-roles/.


IvyPanda. "Women in the UAE: Changing of the Roles." October 14, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/women-in-the-uae-changing-of-the-roles/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Women in the UAE: Changing of the Roles." October 14, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/women-in-the-uae-changing-of-the-roles/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Women in the UAE: Changing of the Roles'. 14 October.

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