HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, both view supporting women as a priority and recognise their important role in the development of the UAE. This is why Dubai Electricity and Water Authority ( DEWA ) is the main partner of the Global Women’s Forum, which is being held for the first time in the Middle East and North Africa region. The Dubai Women’s Establishment (DWE) is organising the forum, in collaboration with the Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society.
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is patron the forum and HH Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bint Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, President of Dubai Women Establishment and wife of HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, is leading it. This event highlights the accomplishments and achievements made by the UAE by the efforts of its women enabling society.
“The forum exemplifies the success of our country as a role model for gender equality, and the participation of women everywhere. The UAE has been able to achieve social and economic development by allowing women the same political, executive, and legislative positions as men, and actively involving them in strategy and decision-making. As His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum once said, “We have exceeded the phase of the women’s empowerment, as we enable the community through women.” This reflects the wise leadership’s belief of the innovative potential and abilities of women,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA .
“I am honoured that DEWA has been chosen as the main partner for this forum, which is built around the theme of ‘Let’s Innovate.’ The forum will give us the opportunity to showcase the importance of our country’s women, their contributions, and the large role they play in the development and prosperity of our community. The Global Women’s Forum Dubai will also focuses on the important roles women play internationally. The agenda for the Global Women’s Forum Dubai will revolve around the pillars of Achieving, Creating, Giving, Energising, and Sustaining. The Forum’s agenda will help DEWA ‘s ongoing efforts to further integrate women into the energy and innovation sectors, because women are essential to our achieving sustainable development,” Al Tayer continued.
“We realise the close connection between the necessity of development and the contribution of women. Many studies affirm that the success rate of different development programmes are related to the active participation of women. The energy security also has an effect on social and economic development. According to the United Nations’ statistics on global energy poverty in 2015, over 1.4 billion people around the world do not have access to modern energy sources, this is called ‘energy poverty.’ Annually, about 2 billion people (mostly women) die due to the effects of burning natural resources for energy to meet their daily needs.
While working to achieve the UAE Vision 2021, to improve welfare and achieve prosperity for the UAE’s citizens and residents, the last few years has seen an outstanding amount of progress. Moving forward, plans are in place to develop a liaison office for UN Women (the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women). UN Women, with the support of HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union (GWU) and the Family Development Foundation (FDF), President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood (SCMC). This reflects the UAE’s commitment to gender equality and the empowerment of women,” added Al Tayer.
“The UAE’s General Women’s Union continues to pursue the objectives of the National Strategy for the Advancement of Women. The strategy, launched by the Union in collaboration with the UN, aims to speed up the development of the strategic programmes from 2013 to 2017, to empower and further enhance the participation of women throughout the nation. The goal is to broaden the talent pool and create a diverse mix of males and females with technical and administrative potential. The UAE is the first Arab country to implement a representation of Emirati women among the Boards of Directors in the public and private sectors,” said Al Tayer.
“The UAE is the first in the Arab World for international competitiveness and has been ranked 14th globally for the happiness and satisfaction of citizens and residents in a global survey conducted by the UN in 2013. According to the Global Gender Gap report compiled for the 2015 World Economic Forum, the UAE is closing the gap to total gender equality in education and healthcare. The UAE attributes these results to its continuous efforts to offer outstanding education and equal healthcare to both men and women to ensure economic prosperity and increase their individual contributions to the gross domestic product (GDP).
Women form 59% of the UAE workforce in diverse professions such as engineering, science, healthcare, media, information technology, law, business, academia, government and oil. Women form over 40% of the total number of employees in education, with 35% working in healthcare. Emirati women constitute 66% of the total workforce in the public sector, 30% of whom are leaders who occupy governmental decision-making positions,” stated Al Tayer.
“These achievements have paved the way for UAE women to pursue higher positions within the political, social, and economic sectors, and allow us to further develop the empowerment of women within the UAE and in the process, become a role model for other countries in the region and the rest of the world. We will continue to highlight the success of our women, and the important role they play in the ongoing development of our society.”
“Now more than ever, it is evident how big of a role women play in fields such as space research, and sectors focused on innovation, such as renewable energy, nuclear energy, the aviation industry, and in the manufacturing and launching of satellites. Such endeavours are vital to achieving the UAE’s Millennium Development Goals, which focus on further empowering women in the pursuit of sustainable development,” added Al Tayer.
“We fully support the Leadership Strategy to enhance the integration of women into the energy sector and expand their work and influence in the clean energy, innovation, and creation. DEWA has employed 1,700 female staff across all its divisions, 559 of whom work in engineering and other technical domains. 77% of DEWA ‘s female workforce comprise Emirati Nationals who enjoy a secure, stable environment that allows them to grow their skillset and abilities and contribute to the National Strategy for Innovation. The strategy is set to place the UAE amongst some of the most innovative countries in the world. This move also supports the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy for 2050 launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to make Dubai a global hub for clean energy, capable of generate 75% of its total power output from clean energy by 2050, as well as enhancing Dubai’s international competitiveness in the energy sector to attract more investments,” Al Tayer noted.
“During the forum, we are showcasing our achievements in innovation and sustainable energy, in addition to the vital role Emirati woman play in the clean energy sector today. DEWA will showcase its best international practices and experiences in enabling the community and the country’s women, via the Sustainable Energy platform. I assure you that our ongoing achievements shall not cease, we will continue to place our women at the forefront of the international community, becoming role models, and reflect the honourable image of Emirati women, in support of the wise vision that recognises the significance of renewable energy in achieving a balance between development and sustainability. This balance will help preserve the rights of future generations to live in a clean, healthy, and safe environment,” said Khawla Al Mehairi, Vice President of Marketing & Corporate Communications, DEWA .
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between DEWA and Dubai Women Establishment, one of the co-organisers of the Women’s Forum Dubai. The sponsorship is part of DEWA ‘s ongoing efforts to empower all women, and support their contribution to society and the sustainable development of the UAE. As part of the MoU, DEWA ‘s Women’s Committee will organise several events and initiatives throughout the year, and participate in national and international women’s activities. As part of the agreement, DEWA representatives are sharing their expertise on advancements in sustainable energy at a plenary session during the Women’s Forum Dubai. DEWA will also participate in the Discovery exhibition at the Forum to showcase creative ideas for innovation in sustainable energy from their booth in the Energy Hub. Talks covering topics including clean energy and the role of women in the sector will be delivered by DEWA representatives from the Energy Hub and international delegates will have an opportunity to learn more about DEWA ‘s innovative programmes during special tours.
To support DEWA ‘s strategy to become an integral part of people’s lives in Dubai, and its vision to become a sustainable innovative world-class utility. DEWA ‘s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative was launched under the name Al Saada (Arabic for ‘happiness’). The initiative is to create a smart innovative entertainment platform, the first of its kind in the region that focuses on turning people’s kinetic and mechanical energy from exercise into electricity. The initiative provides a range of exercise equipment that generates renewable energy, highlighting DEWA ‘s role in achieving Dubai’s healthcare objectives to fight obesity and provide a healthy environment for everyone.
DEWA has worked alongside various government partners including Dubai Women’s Establishment (DWE), Dubai Municipality, and Dubai Sports Council to manufacture an entertainment platform that that includes innovative equipment and sustainable material to store the kinetic energy produced by exercising to power other recreational devices and equipment.
The stored energy can be used in special units within the platform for charging phones and smart devices, lighting, cooling water, or other personal devices. The platform will also have games for children that run on the energy produced by the physical activity of accompanying parents or guardians using recreational equipment, or energy that is produced by the actual games when being played.
In addition to other solar devices for daily personal use to enhance the concept of renewable energy and its daily use in a simple and innovative way.
Women’s Forum Dubai 2016 will feature a number of important initiatives including Rising Talents, Women in Media, and CEO Champions. Expected to attract over 2,000 participants and 200 speakers and international delegates, Women’s Forum Dubai will bring together leaders from around the world, women and men representing business, government, academia as well as art and culture.