Gender Strategy Takes Flight at UNIDO

Ground-breaking International conference in Abu Dhabi, UAE, launches ambitious gender equality policy.
Ismail Abdulla, CEO Of Strata at the launch of UNIDO's Gender Strategy
Ismail Abdulla, CEO Of Strata at the launch of UNIDO's Gender Strategy

November 5th, 2019, Abu Dhabi (UAE): An ambitious and far-reaching gender equality policy was launched by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) at its General Conference in Abu Dhabi. The Strategy for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (2020-2023) promotes UNIDO’s vision that women and men equally lead, participate in, and benefit from inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID).

The launch of gender strategy policy was launched by LI Yong, Director General of UNIDO, at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization’s (UNIDO) General Conference, which is being held at Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi from 3-8 November 2019. The General Conference brings together 170 member states under the theme of ‘Industry 2030 – Innovate. Connect. Transform our Future’. H.E. Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, the UAE Minister of Energy and Industry, was on Sunday announced President of the biennial event on 3 November.

Stressing the consequences of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the effects of increasing automation on economy and society. LI Yong  said: “We need to ensure that the Fourth Industrial Revolution leads to prosperity being shared more evenly, and that it is inclusive of those who have been left behind in the past.”

Fourth Industrial Revolution offers unique opportunities for inclusive industrialisation

Targeted gender-responsive actions essential to harnessing Industry 4.0 potential

Women remain one of the world’s largest untapped talent pools for manufacturing

The ceremony was followed by a high-level panel exploring issues relating to advancing gender inclusivity and how the Fourth Industrial Revolution will need to address current gender inequalities.

Providing a UAE perspective was Ismail Abdulla, CEO of UAE-based Strata Manufacturing, a homegrown composite aerospace manufacturing champion based in Nibras Al Ain Aerospace Park that supports the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 goal of creating a knowledge-based economy.

Abdulla reminded delegates that the UAE’s Founding President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan had stressed the importance of inclusivity and the involvement of women in the national workforce and economy, adding that sustainable talent acquisition is always colour blind, gender neutral and based on merit. Abdulla underlined the fact gender equality is also good business strategy, citing the high number of women working and being trained in technical and engineering disciplines within Strata Manufacturing.

Despite constituting 50% of Strata’s team leaders and 40% of Strata employees overall, women still represent one of the largest pools of untapped talent for manufacturing. Mr Abdulla said: “From our perspective we cannot leave anyone behind “Everyone is given a level playing field. There is no secret sauce – it’s just common sense.”

Abdulla also advocated the need to heighten female students’ motivation by increasing their understanding of how STEM careers can enable global change; a logical step in ensuring more female representation in senior STEM positions. He also called on educators, parents and leaders to address the misconception that STEM-related fields are not appropriate careers for women.

The side-event was one in a series of high-level UNIDO 18th General Conference sessions complementing a main agenda focusing on themes including: Youth and Entrepreneurship, Gender, Industry 4.0, Sustainable Energy, Industrial Parks and the Circular Economy. UNIDO, along with financial development institutions, universities, and public-private partnership vehicles, plays a key role in enhancing foreign and domestic direct investment for sustainable and inclusive industrialisation.

About the Ministry of Energy and Industry in the United Arab Emirates

With the emergence of the United Arab Emirates in 1971, in the first cabinet formation, the Ministry was established In 2004, the Ministry of Electricity and Water and the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Wealth were merged together to form “The Ministry of Energy”. In 2016, the water portfolio was transferred to the Ministry to achieve the Water Security. Moreover, with the cabinet reshuffle

in 2017, the industry portfolio was given to the Ministry to become “the Ministry of Energy and Industry” to ensure the organization, proposal of policies and the preparation of future strategies for the development of the industry sector, aiming for the enhancement of the state’s efforts in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and strengthen efforts to increase the local content in the industry.

Furthermore, in order to contribute in achieving the UAE 2021 vision, the Ministry endeavors to achieve the indicators of the national, competitive and strategic agenda to pioneer and ensure the UAE is among the best countries in the world. In addition to highlight the pivotal role played globally by the United Arab Emirates in the energy and industry sectors through developing policies, legislations and strategies in coordination with the relevant stakeholders to achieve security, sustainability and competitiveness. The Ministry also works on the development of roadmaps to ensure the implementation of the strategies and conducts specialized and innovative studies and research according to the best global practices. Furthermore, the Ministry conducts surveys, develops databases and disseminates information and statistics on the relevant sectors.

The Ministry of Energy and Industry is keen to support and coordinate efforts, in addition to launching innovative initiatives; as it succeeded in developing the first National Energy Strategy 2050 at the regional level, where it was applied through the first laboratory for the future at the state level and it launched as well the UAE Water Security Strategy 2036 along with the National Strategy for Innovation in water sector. The Ministry successfully convened the deregulation of the fuel prices and the adoption of a pricing mechanism in accordance with international prices through coordination with the fuel distribution companies in August 2015. The latest endeavor of the Ministry is the operation of the Emirates National Grid Project through the Project Synergy which explores the potential for integrated planning.

The Ministry is working on providing services that meet the expectations of customers and achieve their happiness and positivizes. The total number of key services provided by the Ministry to the customers reached, including: Services of geological and geophysical maps and reports, the issuance of a preliminary approval certificate, the issuance of industrial production license and the request of a customs exemption on raw materials, machinery and equipment used in the industrial production, which are provided through electronic and smart interfaces and communication channels.

The Ministry of Energy and Industry focuses on investing in human capital to attract national and specialized competencies and raise the capacity to ensure the acquisition of knowledge that contributes to the accomplishment of achievements and working to strengthen the role of women in work and take into account gender balance.


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