Women in the UAE are allowed to drive, vote, work, and own and inherit property. The UAE was ranked 120th in the world out of 153. And while the UAE does have an anti-discrimination law, sex and gender aren’t included in its definition of discrimination.
- In Dubai, women are treated with respect for the most part. It is one of the few UAE places where women may earn what men earn. It depends, though, on what part of Dubai we are talking about as the regions vary greatly in how they treat women.
Is Dubai safe for women’s?
Is it safe for women to travel solo in Dubai? Yes, unreservedly. Dubai is considered among the top 10 safest countries for female solo travellers, so there is no need to hesitate before getting that Dubai visa. Here is our guide to solo travel for all the bold, beautiful, and mettlesome women out there.
How many wives can you have in UAE?
Polygamy is allowed as per the UAE’s law. A Muslim male may have four wives, provided he offers equal sustenance and equal treatment to all. Here are the key legal requirements for Muslim marriages: Marriage contract needs to be registered in a Sharia court in the UAE.
Can women wear shorts in Dubai?
What should tourists wear in Dubai? When visiting Dubai as a tourist, you will be glad to know that the dress code in tourist places and hotels isn’t very strict. Men can wear shorts, pants, shirts, or t-shirts. Women can wear dresses, skirts, shorts, and t-shirts, blouses, tops…
Can unmarried couples stay together in Dubai?
The United Arab Emirates announced on Saturday a major overhaul of the country’s Islamic personal laws, allowing unmarried couples to cohabitate, loosening alcohol restrictions and criminalising so-called honour killings.
Is there a death penalty in Dubai?
Capital punishment is a legal penalty in the United Arab Emirates. Under Emirati law, multiple crimes carry the death penalty, and executions can be carried out through either a firing squad, hanging, or stoning. Overseas nationals and UAE nationals have both been executed for crimes.
Is Christianity allowed in Dubai?
Christians are free to worship and wear religious clothing, if applicable. The country has Catholic, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox along with Protestant churches. The importation and sale of religious material is allowed; however, attempts to spread Christianity among Muslims are not permitted.
How many husbands can a woman have in Dubai?
As with polygyny in Islam in general, men are allowed up to four wives, and women are not permitted multiple husbands.
Can females drive in UAE?
Women in the UAE are allowed to drive, vote, work, and own and inherit property.
Can you kiss in Dubai?
Well, among public displays of affection, kissing might be the worst of the lot. It does not matter if one party kisses the other on the lips, on the cheek, or in a private place that would get them locked upon any part of the world; kissing is forbidden in public places in Dubai.
What language do they speak in Dubai?
The official language of the United Arab Emirates is Arabic. Modern Standard Arabic is taught in schools, and most native Emiratis speak a dialect of Gulf Arabic that is generally similar to that spoken in surrounding countries.
Women’s rights in the United Arab Emirates
Despite the fact that it is easy to forget, women’s rights in the United Arab Emirates are governed by Islamic law, and expats should familiarize themselves with the local laws. The United Arab Emirates is a land of paradoxes, where you may find abayas and bikinis, mosques and Irish pubs, all in close proximity to one another. It is, to put it mildly, a strange place. Despite the fact that emirates such as Abu Dhabi and Dubai are popular with expats, the United Arab Emirates remains a Muslim country, and as a result, women’s rights in the UAE are governed by Islamic law.
This useful guide will go through gender rights in the United Arab Emirates and give crucial information about your rights and obligations as a woman in the country.
- Gender equality and women’s rights in the United Arab Emirates
- Attitudes about women in the United Arab Emirates
- Laws prohibiting harmful activities in the United Arab Emirates In the United Arab Emirates, women’s political rights are protected. In the United Arab Emirates, women’s economic rights are protected. United Arab Emirates women’s health and reproductive rights
- United Arab Emirates women’s educational rights
- Women’s reproductive rights in the United Arab Emirates Women’s rights in the United Arab Emirates
- Women’s freedom from violence
- Laws governing marriage and divorce in the United Arab Emirates
- Laws governing breastfeeding in the United Arab Emirates
- In the United Arab Emirates, there is feminism
- There are women’s rights groups in the United Arab Emirates.
Women’s rights and gender equality in the UAE
Women’s rights in the United Arab Emirates are sometimes inconsistent. However, while the country is ranked first in the Gulf region for gender equality, it is ranked 49th in the world. Even in the midst of the flash and glamour of being a popular expat destination, it has a strong sense of heritage. Although the government has signed up to or ratified progressive international accords on the protection of women, it lacks the institutional infrastructure to put such agreements into effect. Women have the same constitutional rights as males, yet they are not adequately protected in a number of important areas.
This is something that expat women should keep in mind since, while countries like Dubai and Abu Dhabi might seem very much like home, it is important to educate yourself on the local laws and your rights.
Attitudes towards women in the United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates ranks top in the world in terms of treating women with dignity. As a result, street harassment is essentially non-existent, and many expats report feeling far safer there than they do in their own country. The chances of someone speaking to you or worse, approaching you when you’re strolling down the street at 3am or taking a late-night cab are extremely minimal whether you’re walking down the street or taking a late-night taxi. In the United Arab Emirates, it is common to hear stories of women being ‘protected’ or ‘elevated,’ as a sign of respect for their status.
Laws and harmful practices in the United Arab Emirates
Keep in mind that, in the United Arab Emirates, there are legal obligations in addition to respect for Islamic law. So, for example, whereas the law specifies that the age of permission for marriage is 18, the Quran specifies that the age of consent for marriage is puberty (or the beginning of puberty). As a result, minors under the age of 18 are legally permitted to marry with the sanction of a court. Because of this, as well as the unsaid nature of child or forced marriages, it is difficult to ascertain the extent to which such activities are practiced.
Women above the age of 18 must still obtain permission from their guardian before they can marry or travel outside of the country. In actuality, a husband has the legal authority to withhold his wife’s passport in order to prevent her from leaving.
Female genital mutilation
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is prohibited in public hospitals and clinics in the United Arab Emirates; yet, it is still practiced in some private clinics and rural regions in the country. There are no statistics available on the prevalence of female genital mutilation; however, a 2011 survey revealed that 34% of participants had undergone some type of FGM.
Women’s political rights in the United Arab Emirates
Although female genital mutilation (FGM) is prohibited at official hospitals and clinics in the United Arab Emirates, it is nevertheless practiced in select private clinics and rural regions. There are no statistics available on the prevalence of female genital mutilation, although a 2011 survey revealed that 34% of participants had suffered some type of FGM.
Women in power in the United Arab Emirates
Voters elect half of the FNC’s 40 seats, with the other half selected by representatives from each country’s emirate. In the most recent elections, held in 2015, 330 candidates stood for office, with 20 percent of those running being women. In addition to one woman being elected, eight others were appointed, increasing the overall percentage of women in the FNC to 20 percent. In preparation for the impending 2019 election, the President stated that at least half of the FNC members must be female.
Economic rights of women in the United Arab Emirates
Women in the United Arab Emirates are legally entitled to equal pay for equal labor. It is possible for them to work in any career of their choosing, even in the government, but only with the permission of their guardian, who is often their father. Actually, women hold two-thirds of the employment in the public sector, and they account for around 40% of the total workforce. Pregnant women are entitled to paid maternity leave, albeit the length of the leave and whether it is paid at full or half time are determined by the individual employer.
Women in business
Women in the United Arab Emirates are allowed to start their own enterprises, and the government has shown a strong interest in assisting them in recent years. The discourse concerning women entrepreneurs in the United Arab Emirates is being driven by an increasing number of female-led entrepreneur groups, such as Womena. Women company owners currently account for 10% of the UAE’s private sector and hold 15% of the seats on the boards of directors of chambers of commerce and industry across the country, according to the World Bank.
Financial and property rights
Emirati women are able to buy property and take out a mortgage on their own. In fact, according to a recent survey, women control 30 percent of the real estate in the United Arab Emirates. It is vital for women to prepare a will, however, because Islamic law stipulates that inheritance amounts vary based on the gender of the successor; the percentages are larger for male heirs, according to Islamic law. So, unless you would like your assets to be dispersed in a comparable manner, you should put your intentions down in writing.
Women’s health and reproductive rights in the UAE
Emirati women are able to own property and take out a mortgage on their homes. Women really control 30 percent of the real estate in Dubai, according to a recent research conducted by the University of Dubai. The creation of a will is particularly crucial for women since Islamic law specifies that inheritance amounts differ based on the gender of the heir; the percentages are larger for male heirs.
Make your desires clear in writing if you do not want your assets to be allocated in a comparable manner to others’.
Educational rights of women in the United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates is a highly literate country, with literacy rates for both men and women approaching 95%. Women are able to participate in all stages of education, including primary and secondary schooling. In fact, after completing secondary school, 77 percent of Emirati women continue their education beyond that. Women constitute up 70% of all university graduates, according to statistics.
Women’s freedom from violence in the United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates has adopted the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and has said that gender equality is a key goal for the country. Although this is the case, many of the policies pursued by the government do not live up to these lofty aspirations.
Rape and domestic violence
Domestic violence is lawful in the United Arab Emirates because Islam grants a husband the right to scold or discipline his wife and children who are minors. Unfortunately, when women go to the police to report abuse, the police do not usually take their complaints seriously since they are regarded as a private family dispute. Wives have a legal obligation to submit to their husbands. Rape victims who seek assistance may be prosecuted with unlawful sex – which is forbidden and criminalized in the United Arab Emirates – and have been.
Please bear in mind that, despite the fact that Emirati law is influenced by Islamic law, it applies to everyone in the nation regardless of their religious affiliation.
There have also been distressing situations in which women have accused their husbands of violence, and the husbands have responded with claims of defamation or vulgarity – and both parties have been penalized as a result of their actions.
Family and divorce laws in the United Arab Emirates
The rules governing marriage, family, and divorce in the United Arab Emirates might appear conflicting and complicated. In the United Arab Emirates, there are several notable disparities to be aware of. According to Islamic law, men can have up to four wives as long as they can support them all equally. Men can also unilaterally and quickly divorce their spouses; however, wives must first petition to the court for a divorce order, which is only issued in extremely limited circumstances. Women who work without their husband’s permission may be thought to be doing inappropriately.
Legally, a wife has custody of her children until they are 13 (for girls) and 11 (for boys); but, if a husband and wife divorce, whether they are expats or locals, a husband can insist for full custody once those ages are reached.
Although there are no official statistics on forced marriages in the UAE, families frequently arrange weddings in the country. In addition, before a marriage may be consummated, the woman’s male guardian must provide his consent.
Breastfeeding laws in the United Arab Emirates
Breastfeeding is required for the first 18 months of a child’s life, and the United Arab Emirates is actively supporting the practice. During the day, returning moms can have two nursing breaks; more crucially, most malls and public places include feeding rooms or private nursing facilities where they can breastfeed.
Feminism in the United Arab Emirates
Women’s empowerment is a popular concept in the UAE, despite the fact that it is still a very patriarchal society. It is the government’s policy to continue to highlight female achievements and the critical role that women play in the nation-building process. Emirati women are defining and revising their beliefs about feminism, as well as their connection to it.
Women’s rights organizations in the United Arab Emirates
In the United Arab Emirates, there are no autonomous groups that are dedicated to the advancement of women’s rights. The Dubai Foundation for Women and Childrenis a government-run shelter that provides safe havens for victims of domestic violence as well as rehabilitative and educational opportunities.
What’s it like for expat women living and working in Dubai?
With more expatriates than natives residing in the United Arab Emirates, it appears that migrating to Dubai is a viable option for many individuals. However, for some women, migrating to a conservative atmosphere where the majority of the population is male (72 percent) may be intimidating. What kinds of cultural shifts are you likely to encounter? Will you be regarded differently than your male peers in the workplace? When living in Dubai, this guide will provide you with some insight into both the city’s practices and legislation surrounding gender when it comes to dating and marriage.
In our International Workforce Well-Being Survey 2019, we questioned expats if they felt that certain personal features or profiles were a hindrance to settling in a new country or region. The United Arab Emirates, along with India, Thailand, and the United Kingdom, has some of the highest response rates. Respondents from throughout the world said that the following factors were obstacles to settling into their host country: gender, ethnicity, personal life choices, openness to integrating, marital status, sexual orientation, and religion.
However, it has also been stated that the United Arab Emirates has some of the most supportive attitudes toward expats in the world.
Consequently, if you plan on settling in Dubai, you should be treated with respect.
It is no secret that working in the corporate world can be challenging for women. Several studies have found that women are not given the same opportunities or promotions as men, and that the “glass ceiling,” a term coined to describe an unofficially acknowledged barrier to professional advancement that disproportionately affects women and members of minorities, prevents women and minorities from earning a fair wage everywhere in the world.
Can women work in Dubai?
Women are generally under the impression that they are unable to work in Dubai, which is not true. In reality, the contrary is true: women can work in Dubai, and many of those who do so believe the prospects are superior than those available in many Western countries. 3 Despite typical gender norms in the Middle East 4—men earning a living while women look after the home—expats are not expected to follow the same pattern. The impact of foreign nationals in Dubai is changing the role of women in the community, pushing them away from caring for the house and family and toward becoming part of the workforce.
Expat women in Dubai can either work with their own employment visa or, if their residence visa is sponsored by their spouse, they can apply for job and obtain a work permit through their new company, whichever is most convenient for them.
In much of the UAE, modest wear, such as covering your shoulders, is mandatory, however it is a common misperception that women must be totally covered in public. Dubai, the country’s most populous emirate, is regarded for being a little more liberal than the rest of the country; you’ll likely see many female visitors roaming around in shorts or exposing their shoulders there. However, if you want to travel across the UAE, and especially if you plan to visit a place of worship, you should do some preliminary study to determine what to wear.
Dress codes in shopping malls
The clothing code at malls is identical to the dress code in the vast majority of Dubai: it is conservative and conservative. It is recommended that you wear clothing that covers your shoulders, waist and back, as well as the tops of your legs, however it is normal to see expats and visitors donning less clothing. Because of the air conditioning at malls, you may want to wrap yourself in additional clothing for warmth anyhow to avoid being too cold.
Beach or pool
Swimsuits and bikinis are permitted on private beaches and in hotel pools across the emirate, and they are not different to what you might wear at home. It’s also important to consider what to wear while you’re in close proximity to the beach, such as when traveling back home or going to pubs or restaurants nearby. Wearing something to cover your swimwear and shoulders, such as a kaftan, is highly recommended.
Restaurant, bar or club
Swimsuits and bikinis are permitted on private beaches and in hotel pools across the emirate, and they are not different to what you might wear at home in the United States. In addition, while you are near the shore, such as when traveling back home or going to bars or restaurants, you should think about what you should wear. Wearing a kaftan or anything similar to cover your swimsuit and shoulders is recommended.
When entering a mosque in Dubai, women are expected to cover their hair as well as their arms and legs completely, according to Islamic tradition.
Clothing should be loose-fitting, and shoes should be removed before entering the mosque, according to Islamic tradition.
In Dubai, women are permitted to operate a motor vehicle. Saudi Arabia, the UAE’s neighboring country, recently repealed its prohibition on women driving on public roads. Saudi Arabia has previously been the only country in the world to prohibit women from driving. This has now changed. For more information about driving in Dubai, please see our driving guide.
Dubai does permit female drivers, and this is a positive development. In recent months, Saudi Arabia, which borders the United Arab Emirates, overturned its prohibition on women driving. Saudi Arabia has previously been the only country in the world to prohibit women from operating a vehicle. Visit this page for further information about driving in Dubai.
How are women treated in Dubai?
In Dubai and the United Arab Emirates, there are a few customs offices where women may be treated differently than males. Males and women working in Dubai may discover that they are not offered handshakes 6for religious reasons, although women may find this to be more prevalent than men. Many women-only places are available in the city, including special lineups in government offices, pools and gyms, taxis (which are distinguishable by their pink color) and metro carriages, as well as ladies’ evenings in clubs and pubs, among other things.
Laws to consider
Before making the big move to Dubai, there are a few rules that should be taken into consideration. When in public, the UAE warns against excessive affection 7— handholding is OK, but protracted kisses and embraces are prohibited. Being homosexual is a criminal offense in the nation. The act of having sexual relations before marriage is likewise prohibited, and there have been instances in which couples have been arrested for getting pregnant outside of marriage 8. This is something to think about for both single women in Dubai and women who are in a relationship with someone they are not married to.
If you’re relocating to the United Arab Emirates or Dubai, you may want to consider purchasing an international health insurance coverage.
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UAE: Greater Progress Needed on Women’s Rights
(Beirut) – The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Migrants (UNHCR) has called for an end to discrimination against refugees and Migrants. Even though the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has implemented substantial women’s rights changes in recent years, such as enacting new domestic abuse laws, Human Rights Watch says that severe discrimination against women and girls continues. Despite this, laws still grant male guardianship control over women, and loopholes allow males who kill a female relative to get lower punishments.
According to Rothna Begum, a senior women’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch: “The UAE’s recent women’s rights reforms are a step in the right direction, but they do not go far enough to erase the profound discrimination against women in law and practice.” Women’s rights in the United Arab Emirates have recently come under increased scrutiny as a result of the release of new videos featuring Sheikha Latifa, the daughter of the ruler of Dubai, in which she describes the conditions of her forced confinement following her abduction and forcible return to the United Arab Emirates in 2018.
She also called for an inquiry into her sister Sheikha Shamsa’s kidnapping and forced return to the UAE from the United Kingdom in 2000, which she described as “horrific.” During its 2015 assessment, the CEDAW Committee issued a number of recommendations to the United Arab Emirates about the steps that should be taken to ensure women’s equality.
- Other reforms have included the explicit affirmation of a man’s legal right to discipline his wife and children, as well as the criminalization of consensual extramarital sex.
- The definition of domestic violence under the law, on the other hand, strengthens male guardians’ authority to punish their wives, female relatives, and children to a degree that authorities deem appropriate under the circumstances.
- Women in the UAE can still lose their right to financial maintenance from their spouse if they refuse to have sexual intercourse with him without providing a “lawful cause,” according to modest changes made by UAE authorities in 2019 and 2020 to the personal status law.
- Despite the fact that this alteration was intended to be gender neutral, persisting societal conventions imply that judges are more likely to think it unnecessary for a woman to work than a male, resulting in gender discrimination against women.
- As part of this reform, the UAE abolished an item in the criminal code that permitted males to get lesser terms for killing a female relative if they discovered them in the process of illicit sexual relations with another man outside of marriage.
- In such situations, the offender may be sentenced to a minimum of seven years in jail rather than life imprisonment.
- In addition, the United Arab Emirates updated its penal code in November 2020 to eliminate terminology that had been used to penalise consensual sexual interactions outside of marriage.
- However, despite the change in the legislation, it is unclear whether or not health regulations that needed a marriage certificate in order to access prenatal and postnatal treatment are still being followed.
- As a result of these regulations, migrant mothers are disproportionately affected, and their newborns may be left illegally, unable to get identifying documents or travel.
- A domestic worker legislation passed in 2017 increased safeguards such as a weekly day of rest and paid vacation, but it has fewer and weaker protections than the country’s primary labor law and falls short of international norms.
- According to the World Bank, foreign nationals constitute around 90 percent of the population of the United Arab Emirates.
According to Begum, “the UAE has invested a significant amount of time and money promoting itself as a champion of women’s rights and empowerment.” “It is now necessary to transform talk into action.”
Women in the UAE
According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report for 2021, the United Arab Emirates is a regional leader in terms of gender equality. This accomplishment is based on the fundamental premise that women and men are equal partners in society, which is a key principle of the feminist movement. Women are assuming a more prominent position in business, government, and the STEM disciplines as a result of a number of public and private sector efforts. Demonstrating the UAE’s progress in women’s inclusion, justice, and security, the UAE is ranked 24th out of 170 countries and the highest in the region according to the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security’s 2021 WPS Index, which measures progress in women’s inclusion, justice, and security.
As a result of the Constitution, women have the same legal standing as males, including the right to claim titles, access to education, the ability to perform professions, and the ability to inherit property.
The United Arab Emirates has been hailed as a regional leader in equality in economy, governance, education, and health, and has been dubbed “the Arab model.”
Equality in Education and Literacy
Despite the fact that the literacy rate in the UAE is close to 95 percent for both men and women, more women than males are completing secondary school and enrolling in university and post-graduate institutions at this time.
- After secondary school, 77 percent of Emirati women continue their education and account for 70 percent of all university graduates in the United Arab Emirates. Women account for 56 percent of UAE government university graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The literacy percentage among women in the United Arab Emirates is 95.8 percent. Khawla bint Al Azwar Military School, the region’s first women’s military college, opened its doors in September 2014 in the United Arab Emirates. World-class training, physical fitness exercises, and leadership development are all provided at this cutting-edge military institution. There are four female fighter pilots in the United Arab Emirates, and the government has trained over 30 women to operate with the country’s special security services.
Women in Business
Women in the United Arab Emirates are actively involved in the private sector in a variety of roles. Economic resources, such as guaranteed equal salary, as well as access to and control over real property, financial services, inheritance, and natural resources are all equally available to them, in line with national laws. They also have equal rights to education and training opportunities.
- UAE women are actively involved in the private sector, holding a variety of positions. Economic resources, such as guaranteed equal salary, as well as access to and control over real property, financial services, inheritance, and natural resources are all equally available to them, in line with national laws. They also have equal rights to education and employment opportunities.
Women in Government
Women’s participation in the workforce is particularly significant in the government sector. According to official figures, women hold two-thirds of public sector occupations in the United Arab Emirates, with 30 percent holding leadership positions and 15 percent holding technical and academic positions. The UAE’s Gender Balance Council, which emphasizes the role of gender in policy debate, is a government institution responsible for designing and executing programs and projects to improve gender balance.
- Sixteen women are employed as ministers in the United Arab Emirates, including Shamma Al Mazrui, who is Minister of State for Youth Affairs.
- In September 2013, Her Excellency Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh was appointed as the United Arab Emirates’ first female Permanent Representative to the United Nations, making her the sixth woman in the country to hold the position.
- The Asia-Pacific Group of Member States was represented by Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, who was also chosen to serve as Vice President of the United Nations General Assembly in 2017.
- According to the International Monetary Fund’s World Competitiveness Yearbook 2020, the United Arab Emirates placed first in the index of female parliamentary representation.
- Amal Al Qubaisi was named President of the FNC in November 2015, making her the first woman in the area to hold the position of head of a national legislature.
- In October 2008, the first female judge was sworn in as a member of the bench.
- For the first time in the history of the Federal Judiciary, two female judges were appointed in March 2019.
Twenty percent of the diplomatic corps is comprised of women, and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Cooperation has nominated seven Emirati women as ambassadors to serve as the country’s international representatives.
Meeting and Exceeding International Standards
When the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women was signed in 2004, the United Arab Emirates became the first country in the world to do so (CEDAW). The United Arab Emirates participates in and sponsors international conferences on women’s problems on a regular basis, and the country has ratified all international treaties aimed at preserving women’s rights. Children’s Rights Convention (1997), the Convention on The Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) (2004), the Hours of Work (Industry) Convention (1982), the Equal Remuneration Convention (1996), the Convention Concerning Night Work of Women Employed in Industry (1982), and the Convention on Minimum Age for Employment (CMEA) are among the conventions that have been ratified (1996).
The United Arab Emirates has also offered assistance to women’s empowerment projects through multilateral organizations.
As of 2020, it has contributed more than $26 million to the organization since its foundation in 2010, and it will be the first in the Arab world and the ninth worldwide when it comes to resource donation.
Global Gender Gap Report for 2021 published by the World Economic Forum found that the United Arab Emirates was one of the region’s best-performing countries, having closed 71.6 percent of its total gender gap.
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UAE: A model for women’s rights in the Middle East?
When it comes to chances for women, gender equality, and equal pay, statistics show that the United Arab Emirates is in the forefront of the world’s progress. However, the reality for the vast majority of women is quite different, and there is still much work to be done. In the United Arab Emirates, women who have achieved success have been making headlines (UAE). Noura al-Matroushi, a 28-year-old Saudi woman, was just designated the country’s first female astronaut as part of the country’s ambitious space program.
Female scientists account for 80 percent of the science team supporting the current Mars expedition, according to the Emirates Ministry of State for Advanced Sciences (MoSAS).
Listed as a “leader in advancing gender equality in the Middle East” by the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual Global Gender Gap Report, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is among the “five most improved nations in the overall index,” with gender inequalities minimized by at least 4.4 percentage points.
It will be ranked 120 in 2020.
One cannot help but question how these figures, as well as worldwide recognition and national initiatives to improve the role of women and equal pay, are supposed to be reconciled with allegations of grave human rights violations in China.
It’s hardly even worth mentioning the claims brought against Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, whose daughters, Latifa and Shamsa, have either vanished or are being detained under severe house arrest despite widespread worldwide outrage.
UAE only partially progressive
According to the World Bank, the population of the United Arab Emirates will have increased to 9.9 million people by the year 2020. However, only roughly 10% of the population — half of whom are women — are legitimately Emirati citizens, and as such are subject to local legislation. Expats who work for international corporations or foreign laborers in the local construction, service, and domestic labor industries account for the great bulk of those who come to this country. In 2017, the United Arab Emirates enacted a legislation granting limited labor rights to foreign-born domestic employees in the country.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) claimed the country’s human rights record continues to fall short of international norms — and the organization’s criticism is not confined to foreign employees.
One of the issues raised by Human Rights Watch is the fact that only Emirati men are permitted to pass on citizenship to their offspring, effectively rendering the children of Emirati mothers and international fathers stateless because no birth certificates are issued to them as a result of this restriction.
The subject of marriage and divorce is a second important one to address.
The current status of marriage is that a man can dissolve it unilaterally with a few spoken words, whereas a woman must obtain the written consent of a male guardian in order to enter or quit a relationship.
Digital revolution of the critical mass
Despite this, the perception of Emirati women has shifted. From the 1950s until the 2000s, the state had complete control over public discourse. As Dabya al-Rafaei, a researcher on contemporary public discourse and the application of critical feminist theory in the Gulf, explained to DW, “Religious figures operated as powerful orators capable of shaping and maintaining public opinion in favor of conservative norms and policies, which largely contributed to keeping Khaleejiwomen submissive and hidden from sight.” It was only with the advent of mobile internet and social media that the so-called “digital revolution” began to undermine this established pattern of behavior.
In the face of increasing numbers of women speaking out against discriminatory policies, drawing attention to their inferior status in society, or simply sharing snippets from their daily lives on social media, al-Rafaei argued that it was no longer possible to monopolize the discourse around the status of women in the Gulf.
However, when it comes to equal pay, the study claims that there is still a significant disparity between the state’s decision and the reality on the ground.
In an interview with DW, she stated, “I believe that the government of the UAE appreciates the value of women role models and has taken advantage of various chances to display the achievement of Emirati women across all sectors.” The announcement of the first Emirati woman to train as an astronaut was a source of inspiration for her, as well as for the country and the region.
“However, for anybody who has been following the UAE’s development on women’s rights, this was not unexpected.”
15 Things White Women Should Know About Living In Dubai
White women, compared to other females across the world, are undoubtedly better off in life than any other group of women. Despite the fact that women’s rights have a long way to go in terms of closing the gender pay gap and combating other forms of discrimination, when it comes to basic freedoms and human rights, western women are treated fairly and more or less in line with the way their male counterparts are treated in everyday life. Unfortunately, many portions of the globe are falling behind the times, as proven by certain extremely stringent regulations and viewpoints that are still in effect today in many parts of the world.
Due to its almost tax-free status and the fact that it is home to some of the world’s wealthiest individuals, Dubai is sometimes portrayed as a lavish refuge for expats.
What we consider social standards for women living in the western world appear to have been severely curtailed in Dubai, and many of the activities that we take for granted as white women appear to be outlawed on a daily basis.
You should be aware of certain important facts before migrating to Dubai as a western woman if you have ever entertained the notion of doing so.
15Reporting Assault Can Lead To Being Prosecuted For Doing “It” Before Marriage
This has to be one of the most horrible regulations in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates as a whole, and it is the highly contentious rule that allows women to be penalized for reporting their own rape, which is a violation of international human rights standards. Another case occurred in 2016 in which a British woman living in Dubai was sexually assaulted by two other men; however, instead of receiving sympathetic treatment and support from local authorities, the woman was subjected to an incomprehensible and immoral ordeal at the hands of some ridiculously messed-up laws.
Some human rights organizations in Dubai have urged that female victims of sexual assault should refrain from reporting the incident because the crime of sex outside of marriage has such severe penalties in the nation (including whipping and jail).
After a horrific rape left her with fractured bones, an Australian lady was sentenced to eight months in prison. I’m serious about being f—ked up.
14Flesh-Exposing Outfits Are A No-No
As a result, although Dubai does not require its international female inhabitants to dress in the same manner as their native female counterparts, i.e. with full burka veils and hijab head scarves, western women may discover that they need to tone down their typical dress sense when living in Dubai. like a great deal If you are used to running errands in a camisole and shorts, be prepared to be scrutinized by the locals – particularly the guys. Generally speaking, anything that is excessively low-cut or that exposes too much flesh is not appropriate for daytime use.
However, they will stand out like a sore thumb, which may make for an unpleasant experience, to say the least.
13Giving Birth Outside Of Wedlock Can Lead To Deportation
Even while there is no lack of locations throughout the world where having a kid outside of marriage is frowned upon and considered immoral – particularly in religious circles – having a child outside of marriage in Dubai can result in the mother being deported. Childbirth outside of marriage is a major felony in the United Arab Emirates, and depending on the circumstances, it can result in the mother having very limited rights or access to her kid. According to some reports, women in Dubai are not even allowed to receive a birth certificate unless they also have a marriage certificate, which allows officials to “compare” the dates.
Starting a family before being married is becoming increasingly common in western society, but Dubai, sadly, continues to be quite restrictive on this topic.
12Public Displays Of Affection Can Get You Jailed
Since Dubai and other countries in the UAE have strong views on the way women express themselves through clothing and other means, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they have strong feelings about the way women express themselves while dating and engaging in all of the normal activities that women in love engage in. This includes public shows of affection between you and your significant other. When it comes to dating or going out with a significant other for the evening, many of the things that western women take for granted might get you in real hot water in other parts of the world.
In one instance, in 2007, an unmarried Indian couple was sentenced to a year in prison after they were caught kissing and snuggling in the back of a cab.
The motorist noticed them in his rear-view mirror and drove them directly to the police station for questioning. Similarly, in another case, a lady from London was sentenced to a month in prison for “kissing and stroking” the back of a male acquaintance. Nuts.
11You Can’t Work Without Your Husband’s Permission
In some sections of Dubai, a stereotype about western women that has been discredited for decades is nevertheless prevalent. While the hideously sexist image of a wife in the 1950s who was considered as nothing more than a housewife and a cook may make our stomachs churn now, back then, a woman still had the freedom to work without first obtaining permission from her husband. Unfortunately, even in 2017, it is still against the law in Dubai for a married woman to seek employment without the express approval of her husband beforehand.
Most likely, western women who migrate to Dubai with their husbands will already be in an equitable and mutually respected relationship, rendering this rule inapplicable to their situation.
10Domestic Abuse Claims Are Not Always Taken Seriously
Unfortunately, just as sexual assault cases can result in more difficulties for the victim than for the perpetrator, the same can be true for Dubai women who file domestic abuse claims in the United Arab Emirates. Domestic violence is not allowed in most sectors of western culture, and organizations and shelters are constantly being established throughout the United States and other nations to provide women with safety. It is something that we take extremely seriously. In Dubai, unfortunately, women are typically left to suffer in silence as a result of the woefully inadequate legislation governing domestic violence.
The Human Rights Watch researched cases involving British nationals and western couples who were deterred from reporting incidences of domestic abuse by none other than the Dubai Police Department!
9Only Move To Dubai If You Are Happily Married
According to a new sociological research conducted at Stanford University, the divorce rate in the United States is now at 53 percent, with women initiating a whopping 69 percent of all divorces in the country overall. Coupled with these scary statistics, it would appear that married ladies with even the least lingering worry about their husband should shun Dubai like the plague, unless they happen to be among the very happy minority of married couples. Why? Because it’s not as simple as filing for divorce and then waiting for the courts to handle the rest when a woman wants to end her relationship with her spouse.
Essentially, UAE law stipulates that a woman may seek a divorce if she can demonstrate that her spouse has used violence or abandoned her.
Women in Dubai can also opt to separate through the “Khula” procedure, which relieves them from the ties of their marriage but also results in them forfeiting half of the settlement money they had received.
8Women Are Not Adequately Protected By The Legal System
The courts in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates as a whole, as we’ve already established in this article, do not treat women fairly, and western women who move to Dubai to live and work are no exception. While white women in Dubai are not subjected to the same levels of censorship as resident women in the country in terms of their dress and lifestyle, the rights they enjoy while living in the country are extremely limited, despite the fact that the glamorous Gulf is widely promoted around the world.
Women are, after all, regarded as second-class citizens in Dubai, and the country’s convoluted legal system frequently results in a woman being falsely accused of a crime while simply reporting one against her.
7Taking Pictures Of Local Women Is Strictly Prohibited
It’s vital to note that this legislation applies to both male and female visitors to Dubai, but it’s especially crucial to be aware of if you’re a budding photographer hoping to capture how your gender dresses on the other side of the world (or possibly even your camera for that matter). In the age of vlogging and sharing your vacation photos on Instagram, we’ve become accustomed to filming everything that comes in front of us – and we’re typically permitted to do so – but don’t do this in Dubai or you might be jailed or fined heavily.
In other words, if photography is a pastime of yours, you may find it difficult to stay up with the times in Dubai, unless you have a specific authorization to do so.
6Topless Sunbathing Is Not Permitted Anywhere In the Country
For girls who enjoy getting a full-body tan while on vacation, there are a plethora of nude and topless beaches to pick from all over the world, and this is becoming increasingly common. But in Dubai, topless sunbathing and public nudity of any form are severely prohibited by law. This contentious issue for Dubai was brought to the world’s notice a few years ago when a young British woman was discovered on a public beach in Dubai’s coastal neighborhood of Jumeirah without her bikini top on, sparking outrage throughout the world.
Fortunately, the young visitor was not punished. In the United Arab Emirates, topless sunbathing – and indeed any kind of nudity – is now deemed an act of “public indecency,” and anyone discovered in violation of these regulations faces a minimum of six months in prison.
5Cohabiting Couples Can Face Up To 3 Years In Prison
In a world where marriage is becoming increasingly outmoded, the institution of marrying before you live together is progressively becoming obsolete, and more couples than ever are just cohabiting in place of a traditional wedding. It appears to be a harmless mistake, doesn’t it? In the Arab world, this is not the case. In her opinion, a “illegitimate relationship between two individuals who are cohabiting is deemed a crime of voluntary debasement,” according to Samia Al Heraki, a legal adviser with the Dubai law company Bin Haider Advocates.
When it comes to marriage, Arab nations are well-known for their conservatism, yet it still seems weird that a city famed for its ultra-modern architecture and thriving nightlife could be so firmly rooted in the past in this way.
4Women Cannot Marry Without The Consent Of A Male Guardian
Because women in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates are seen as second-class citizens, they cannot always be trusted to act on their own behalf, and as a result, they are frequently required to obtain the approval of a male companion before doing any action. It is so ingrained in UAE law that women in Dubai are not allowed to make the decision to marry on their own; instead, they must first obtain permission from an adult male guardian in their lives, such as their father or brother, to allow them to enter into an agreement with another male guardian in their lives (whether she is above the age of 18 or not).
In contrast to the tight restrictions placed on women when it comes to marriage, males in the United Arab Emirates are permitted to marry up to four women without the consent of anybody (apparently not even the ladies he wishes to marry!).
3Abortion Carries A One-Year Prison Sentence
While abortion is unquestionably still a difficult topic in the western world, many white women are still subjected to prejudice and discrimination from religious groups and other groups for electing to go through with it. However, many women in Dubai, carrying an undesired pregnancy to term may appear to be the preferable option when considering the very severe criminal penalties they may face if they choose to terminate the pregnancy. Some women find themselves confronted with the following callous legislation, as if the decision to have an abortion was not devastating and mentally taxing enough.
The sole exemption to the abortion rule in Dubai is if the woman’s life is in imminent danger during childbirth, which is rare. Horrific.
2Women Who Miscarry Are Suspected Of Having An Abortion
In case you were under the impression that the preceding item had demonstrated Dubai law at its most harsh when it came to women’s rights, brace yourselves for the following entry is almost incredible. Not only are women subjected to punishment and ridicule when it comes to abortion, but they may even be penalized if they unintentionally terminate the pregnancy of their child. Yes, you are correct. It is possible that a woman in Dubai who has experienced a miscarriage and seeks hospital care will be charged of attempting to have an abortion.
When it comes to women, this demonstrates a terrible lack of understanding and harshness.
1Child Custody Laws Are A Nightmare
If you thought that the preceding item had demonstrated how harsh Dubai law can be when it comes to women’s rights, then brace yourself for what follows is a bit beyond comprehension. Abortion is not the only thing that may bring about punishment and disdain for women; involuntary miscarriage can also result in punishment. Yes, you are correct. Women in Dubai who have miscarried and seek medical attention may be accused of attempting an abortion if they go to the hospital where the miscarriage occurred.
When it comes to women, this demonstrates a stunning lack of compassion and ruthlessness.