The UAE has been mocked on the Twittersphere after it became apparent that all of the winners of this year's 'gender equality in the workplace' initiative were in fact men.
The award, which was dutifully handed out by the country's vice president, Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum, reportedly included the categories of 'best government entity supporting gender balance' and 'best federal authority supporting gender balance.'
. @HHShkMohd honors the winners of the Gender Balance Index 2018. The Index features three categories: Best Personality for Supporting Gender Balance, Best Federal Entity for Supporting Gender Balance, and the Best Initiative for Supporting Gender Balance. #UAE pic.twitter.com/qE5GkYHzTo— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) 27 January 2019
The Guardian reports that the awards were given to the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Human Resources and the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, all of which were represented by males.
Naturally, when the UEA sent out a Tweet attempting to cast itself as a bastion of gender equality and celebrating the award, it was met with mockery and derision by other users.
Wow really nailed the diversity there. One of those dudes was wearing gray.— Tim Binnington (@tim_binnington) January 27, 2019
You rare, you few, you brave men who are bold enough to fight for justice: your names shall be praised above all others in our new, gender-balanced world.#uae #emiratis #genderbalance #ayfkmhttps://t.co/AHSnvJI9Vz— O.T. Ford (@ot_ford) January 27, 2019
Yet, despite the apparent mind-boggling nature of the event, a United Nations Development Programme report found in 2018 that in fact the UAE has come along leaps and bounds in introducing equality between men and woman in the workforce. In fact, Abu Dhabi was ranked the highest of all Gulf Arab states for brining woman into the workforce. The report also found that 43% of Emirati woman now hold degrees compared to 23% of men. Moreover, since the year 1975 the number of woman in the country's workforce was reported to have risen from 1,000 in 1975 to 135,000.