The Politics of Women Empowerment

Female Leaders in the UAE

In: Hawwa
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  • 1 New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • 2 New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Abstract

In recent decades, the governments of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, especially the United Arab Emirates (UAE), have substantially increased their promotion of women in public life, with more women obtaining senior positions in an array of social domains. Despite these efforts, women’s leadership in the public sphere of GCC states still lags behind what has been achieved in other parts of the world. Focusing on the UAE, this article provides an overview of the current state and complex nature of women’s leadership in the Emirates. It examines who the UAE’s female leaders are, their socio-economic backgrounds, and the specific social arenas they most often obtain leadership positions in. The article utilizes a newly compiled data set on the socio-economic backgrounds of women who obtained leadership positions in the realms of politics, the economy, and society more broadly in the UAE between 1970 and 2017.

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