In an effort to close the gender pay gap, the UAE is mandating an equal wage regulation for men and women in the private sector, effective today onwards.
Shocking statistics about the gender pay gap
Very often, women aren’t paid as much as men do for the same profession. As per statistics by the United Nations’ women empowerment counterpart, UN Women, females earn 23% lesser than males, particularly those who are mothers and are of colour.
Photograph credit: Pixy
Given the pay difference, it roughly translates to women earning 77 fils for every dirham a man makes.
UN Women also estimates at the current rate of progress, the gender pay gap will only close by the year 2069.
UAE announces equal wages for men and women in the private sector
A recent UAE Cabinet meeting saw the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) propose equal pay to close the gender pay gap, and it wasn’t until yesterday when UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan order stipulating equal wages for men and women in the private sector, coming into force from today.
“Female employees shall receive wages equal to that of males if they perform the same work, or another of equal value. The procedures, controls and standards necessary for evaluating work of equal value will be set under a decision to be issued by the Cabinet, based on a proposal from the Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation.”The Decree of Federal Law No. 06 for 2020
WEF report ranks UAE as the Middle East’s top country in gender gap index
Every year, the World Economic Forum published a detailed report ranking every country’s progress in bridging the gender gap, an index usually topped by West European countries like Iceland, Norway, Finland and Sweden.
Despite ranking 120th globally in WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report this year, the UAE topped the region’s list for bridging the gender gap, followed by Kuwait ranked 122nd, Bahrain ranked 133rd, Qatar ranked 135th, Oman ranked 144th, Saudi Arabia ranked 146th and Yemen at 153.
Here are some terms private companies can implement to bridge the gender pay gap
-Checking starting salaries
-Ensuring equality in competence pay
-Dealing with any problems in performance related pay
-Making sure there is equality in bonus payments
-Eliminating gender bias from ‘working time’ payments
-Limiting managerial discretion over all elements of the pay package
-Considering market forces
-Carrying out an equality impact assessment
To find out more about the private sector’s efforts to reduce the gender pay gap, visit the Equal Human Rights Commission’s website.
Photograph credit: PickPik
UAE’s efforts to promote gender equality
It’s worth mentioning the UAE took numerous first-of-its-kind initiatives to promote gender equality in the Middle East, in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), from opening the region’s military college for women, to The Federal National Council appointing nine women members out of a total of 40, and women making up 30% of the diplomatic corps.
Fun fact, half of the small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UAE are handled by women.
Women at the forefront of combating the Coronavirus outbreak
A United Nations study reveals women are playing a huge role in containing Coronavirus globally. They represent a whopping majority of frontline healthcare workers and carers at home, as well as decision-making and response planning to the fatal disease.
Photograph credit: Pixabay
(Featured photograph credit: Dubai Media Office)