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Reflective Response: Gender Equality

Reflective Response: Gender Equality

Gender equality is essentially about equal treatment, opportunity, and rights for both all people. Women and girls are usually vulnerable to various challenges (such as poor health, violence, and exploitation) where there is a significant gender disparity. Besides, it is generally harder for women and girls to access better jobs, education, healthcare, control of economic resources, and the rights to make decisions. Gender disparity varies with political and socioeconomic circumstances. Globally, the cause towards gender equality has made some progress. Some notable progress has been experienced in dimensions such as education and maternal health (reduced maternal mortality) (Wong, 2012). In various countries across the world, women and girls have been increasingly empowered in line with the goals of sustainable development. For example, Wong (2012) notes that in the education dimension, the global gender disparity in literacy, especially in young people, has significantly reduced. Education plays a critical role in efforts towards gender equality.

However, there is still more to be done, and there are various challenges. Girls and women have not yet fully experienced the desired equality in numerous social and economic aspects (Elson, 2012). According to Razavi (2016), fewer women run businesses, are less involved in technology, and they experience barriers in certain professions as well as access to better paying jobs as compared to men. In developing countries, most women are in informal sectors of the economy where they still do not have control over resources. Even in countries with good levels of gender equality, the representation and participation of women in politics (as well as decision-making) is still wanting. At the same time, there is wage discrimination based on gender, which puts women at a disadvantage. The situation is even worse for poor and marginalized women in developing countries. According to Karam (2014), education plays a critical role in addressing these challenges, but sometimes circumstances present unequal opportunities for competition.

The UAE has made remarkable progress towards gender equality, but the remaining challenge is that women have not been adequately empowered politically and economically (regarding opportunity and participation) (Kemp, 2013). Although more women are involved in public sector jobs, and other jobs that were previously dominated by men (such as military), the percentage of women in the labor force, especially in the private sector, is marginal (Elson, 2012).
UNICEF (2011) noted that not many women have been involved in politics and especially in elective posts. Political empowerment goes along with fair representation in the national legal systems and public administration. The reasons behind the disparity in these areas can be said to be founded upon women’s mindset (stereotypes), cultural practices, individual choices, or the conditions of employment (Razavi, 2016).

As a young person, it is a privilege to be in the UAE where gender equality has been highly promoted. The enabling environment for gender balance and representation in all sectors that the government has provided is an opportunity for all people to realize their full potential and contribute to development. Platforms have been availed for young people to achieve whichever goals they may have especially career goals. In this regard, young people can live in freedom as most barriers to gender equality been removed. With equal opportunities, young people of any gender have unlimited life choices. For example, they can take various career paths and graduates have the right to work in any sector of the economy.


Elson, D. (2012). Review of World Development Report 2012: Gender equality and development. Global Social Policy12(2), 178-183.

Karam, A. (2014). Education as the pathway towards gender equality. UN Chronicle50(4), 31-36.

Kemp, L. (2013). Progress in female education and employment in the United Arab Emirates towards Millennium Development Goal (3): gender equality. Foresight15(4), 264-277.

Razavi, S. (2016). The 2030 Agenda: challenges of implementation to attain gender equality and women’s rights. Gender & Development24(1), 25-41.

UNICEF (2011). UAE MENA Gender Equality Profile. Retrieved from

Wong, Y. (2012). World Development Report 2012: Gender equality and development. Forum for Development Studies39(3), 435-444.