DUBAI, As part of the UAE's efforts to enhance the role of women and ensure their effective participation in various international events that support women empowerment, the UAE Gender Balance Council hosts The UN Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Women's Economic Empowerment in Dubai on 6-7 February 2017.

The High Level Panel, set up by UN Secretary-General, aims at placing women's economic empowerment at the top of the global agenda and to accelerate progress under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Panel comprises of influential leaders from various fields of business, academia, and civil society; as well as key government representatives from all over the world.

H.H. Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, welcomed the UN High Level Panel meeting in the UAE and highlighted the UAE leadership's commitment to supporting women and offering them opportunities for effective participation in economic development across various sectors as a partner for men in both public and private sectors.

"We are glad that this strategic meeting takes place in the UAE. Our country has been pioneering in investing in women's economic empowerment, which matches the objectives of the Panel, in term of increasing women participation in the economy and empower them in holding key position in the domains of sustainable development. This stems from the conviction of our wise leadership in the ability of woman to effectively contribute and support the country's development within conducive environment that ensure full economic gender equality, and governed by laws that also encourage competitiveness to achieve the highest level of economic performance."

HH Sheikha Manal also praised the idea of launching The UN Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Women's Economic Empowerment. "We are happy to collaborate with the Panel and its members who come from all over the world, as this is part of our joint efforts in identifying new opportunities which will help activate global collaboration in term of women's economic empowerment in the sustainable development, in addition to discuss the challenges that limit women's economic participation and work on finding solutions to these challenges for a better future for women across the various sectors."

The President of the UAE Gender Balance Council also highlighted the outcome of the governmental support for women in term of women's participation in economic activities, which resulted in the emergence of new generation of a highly professional businesswomen. Sheikha Manal also said that there are 23,000 businesswomen in the UAE running investments estimated at around AED50 billion.

Sheikha Manal said that the UAE Gender Balance Council collaborates with various state entities and concerned authorities to achieve gender equality not only governmental sector but also in the private sector. She also said that the council is keen to activate all the collaboration channels with all international organizations in charge of women support and empowerment, including the United Nation.

Serving in their personal capacities, the Co-chairs of the Panel are Mr. Luis Guillermo Solis, President of Costa Rica and Ms. Simona Scarpaleggia, CEO of IKEA Switzerland. Other members of the panel include the leaders of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group, UN Women, and a diverse range of eminent gender equality actors, economics experts, academics, trade union leaders, and business and government representatives from all over the world.

The UN agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development came into effect in 2016, and includes 17 goals, that aims for gender equality and women's economic empowerment, poverty eradication, with a focus on achieving this via close collaboration with governments, public and private sector.

Source: Emirates News Agency