Title: Public policy on gender equality in the United Arab Emirates: a critical appraisal

Authors: Andrea Hesketh; Jeremy B. Williams

Addresses: P.O. Box 1372, Carman, Manitoba, R0G0J0, Canada ' Zayed University, P.O. Box 19282, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Abstract: Empowerment of women and girls is firmly on the political agenda in many countries around the world, including the UAE. This paper evaluates public policy to date with a focus on the extent to which historical and cultural factors have helped or hindered progress towards gender equality, and how contemporary influences are serving to advance or impede its progress. It begins with a review of the various composite indicators used for international comparisons, and the risks of over-reliance on a single index number as a 'catch-all' measure of gender equality. This leads into a comparative case study analysis of the journey of the UAE alongside that of Rwanda, one of the highest-ranking countries in the world for gender equality. The main contribution of the paper is to propose six guiding principles for evaluation of public policy on gender equality that are consistent with the promotion of a sustainable society.

Keywords: gender equality; SDGs; gender indices; United Arab Emirates; UAE; Rwanda; public policy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSOC.2021.10045727

International Journal of Sustainable Society, 2021 Vol.13 No.4, pp.254 - 272

Received: 04 Dec 2020
Accepted: 21 Oct 2021

Published online: 21 Mar 2022 *

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