UPR Sexual Rights Database

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UN Member State that is reviewed on its human rights record as part of the UPR process.

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Source of Reference

Recommending State

UN Member State or Permanent Observer making sexual rights related recommendations, comments or asking questions to the State under Review.

Review Documentation

Sources of information used as the basis for a State’s review.  Includes the State’s National Report, UN Compilation Report and a Stakeholder Summary.

UN Regional Group to which State under Review belongs.

UN Regional Group to which Recommending State belongs.

This will only match recommendations where the Source of Review is a State.

Implementation notes

State responses to recommendations and issues raised in the UN Compilation and Stakeholder summary.

Displaying 37276 - 37300 of 39533 recommendations found
  • State Under Review:

    United Arab Emirates

    United Arab Emirates
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Political group
    OIC
    AL
    Source Of Reference:

    National Report

    Issue:
    • Women's participation
    Type:
    Review Documentation
    Session:
    3rd session, December 2008
    Status:
    N/A
    Contents:
    In 2006, women's political empowerment in Emirates society was given a significant boost when women were given two ministerial portfolios. That number was doubled in 2008 when four women were given ministerial portfolios in the government line-up and nine were elected or appointed as members of the Federal Nations Council (22.5 per cent of the members of the Council). [Page 18]
  • State Under Review:

    United Arab Emirates

    United Arab Emirates
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Political group
    OIC
    AL
    Source Of Reference:

    Egypt

    Egypt
    Regional group
    Africa Group
    Political group
    AU
    OIC
    AL
    OIF
    Issue:
    • Empowerment of women
    Type:
    Question
    Session:
    3rd session, December 2008
    Status:
    Not Followed up with a Recommendation
    Contents:
    Requested further clarification on how the Government intended to strengthen the position of women and enable them to pursue advancement.
  • State Under Review:

    United Arab Emirates

    United Arab Emirates
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Political group
    OIC
    AL
    Source Of Reference:

    Japan

    Japan
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Issue:
    • International human rights instruments
    Type:
    Recommendation
    Session:
    3rd session, December 2008
    Status:
    No Response
    Contents:
    To consider ratifying ICCPR and ICESCR in a timely manner.
  • State Under Review:

    United Arab Emirates

    United Arab Emirates
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Political group
    OIC
    AL
    Source Of Reference:

    Italy

    Italy
    Regional group
    WEOG
    Political group
    EU
    Issue:
    • International human rights instruments
    Type:
    Recommendation
    Session:
    15th session, February 2013
    Status:
    Unclear Response
    Contents:
    Ratify the two international Covenants and other core international human rights conventions.
    Explanation
    Taken note of.
    Implementation
    Stakeholder Summary:
    Para 2) Treatment Action Group (TAG) indicated that, despite several recommendations under the 2008 and 2013 UPR reviews […] the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had not acceded to ICESCR nor ICCPR.
  • State Under Review:

    United Arab Emirates

    United Arab Emirates
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Political group
    OIC
    AL
    Source Of Reference:

    Azerbaijan

    Azerbaijan
    Regional group
    EEG
    Political group
    OIC
    CIS
    Issue:
    • Women's and / or girls' rights
    Type:
    Recommendation
    Session:
    15th session, February 2013
    Status:
    Accepted
    Contents:
    Continue putting forward effective measures for the protection and promotion of the rights of women in the country.
    Implementation
    UN Compilation:
    Para 40) CEDAW was concerned that it was still possible for a husband to prohibit his wife from working and to limit her freedom of movement, pursuant to articles 71 and 72 of the Personal Status Law. It urged the United Arab Emirates to repeal those articles without delay and to review any other provisions that impeded women’s free choice of profession and employment.
    Para 47) OHCHR stated that issues relating to women’s rights under personal status laws, such as Federal Law No. 28 (2005), remained in need of development, as they continued to fall outside of the provisions of the CEDAW.
    Para 48) CEDAW was concerned that the principle of equality of women and men had still not been enshrined in the Constitution and national legislation, and that discrimination against women had not yet been defined in accordance with the CEDAW and prohibited by law.
    Para 49) [CEDAW] was particularly concerned about the de jure maintenance of male guardianship of women and girls, the impossibility for an Emirati woman to sign her own marriage contract, the continued practice of dowry, the obligation imposed on a woman to obey her husband, including sexually, the maintenance of polygamy and the limited grounds available to women to seek divorce, while men could unilaterally request a divorce for any reason.
    Para 50) CEDAW took note of the 2011 decree granting nationality to children born of Emirati women and foreign fathers upon reaching the age of majority. However, it remained concerned that Emirati women were still denied equality regarding nationality compared with the rights guaranteed to men.
    Para 51) [CEDAW] was deeply concerned that a divorced woman lost custody of her daughters when they reached 13 years of age and of her sons when they reached 11 years of age, or even before those ages if she remarried.
    Para 52) [CEDAW] noted with serious concern that, in 2010, the Federal Supreme Court had issued a ruling upholding the right of men to chastise their wives and children and that, in 2013, the United Arab Emirates had not accepted the recommendation made during the second cycle of the universal periodic review to repeal article 53 of the Penal Code, which authorized that right. The Committee was also concerned about the slow progress that had been achieved in enacting comprehensive legislation on violence against women.
    Para 53) [CEDAW] was concerned about violence against women resulting from the criminalization of consensual sexual relations between adults outside of marriage, under article 356 of the Penal Code, and the use of that article to criminalize women in prostitution and women who were victims of trafficking, sexual exploitation and abuse. It was concerned that, in all those cases, women faced harsh sanctions, such as prison sentences, torture and the death penalty, and inhuman, cruel or degrading punishment in the form of stoning or flogging. It was also concerned that hundreds of women were reportedly serving sentences after being convicted of having sexual intercourse outside of marriage (zina).
    Para 54) [CEDAW] was concerned that access to justice by women and girls, including effective legal remedies, was severely hampered by the reluctance to register complaints and the negative attitudes of law enforcement officials towards women denouncing acts of violence committed against them.
    Para 55) [CEDAW] was also concerned about the discriminatory treatment of women in courts, especially foreign women, the lack of interpretation services and legal aid and the disproportionately severe sentences imposed on foreign women in criminal court proceedings.

    Stakeholder Summary:
    Para 52) HRW stated that discrimination on the basis of sex and gender was not included in the definition of discrimination in the 2015 anti-discrimination law, …
    Para 53) GCENR stated that the nationality law discriminated on the basis of gender with regard to the conferral of nationality on non-national spouses. Article 3 enshrined the right of Emirati men to confer nationality on foreign spouses, however, the same right was denied to Emirati women.
    Para 54) According to HRW, Federal Law No. 28 of 2005 regulated matters of personal status, and some of its provisions discriminated against women. For instance, the law provided that, for a woman to marry, her male guardian must conclude her marriage contract; men had the right to unilaterally divorce their wives, whereas a woman who wished to divorce her husband must apply for a court order; a woman could lose her right to maintenance if, for example, she refused to have sexual relations with her husband without a lawful excuse; and women were required to “obey” their husbands. A woman might be considered disobedient, with few exceptions, if she decided to work without her husband’s consent.
    Para 55) HRW continued that Article 53 of the Penal Code allowed the imposition of “chastisement by a husband to his wife and the chastisement of minor children” so long as the assault did not exceed the limits prescribed by Sharia, or Islamic law. Marital rape was not a crime. Furthermore, in 2010, the Federal Supreme Court issued a ruling—citing the Penal Code—that sanctioned husbands’ beating and inflicting other forms of punishment or coercion on their wives, provided they did not leave physical marks.
    Para 56) According to HRW, Article 356 of the Penal Code criminalizing (but not defining) “indecency” provided for a minimum sentence of one year in prison. In practice, UAE courts used this article to convict and sentence people for zina offenses, which included consensual sexual relations outside heterosexual marriage.

  • State Under Review:

    United Arab Emirates

    United Arab Emirates
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Political group
    OIC
    AL
    Source Of Reference:

    Norway

    Norway
    Regional group
    WEOG
    Issue:
    • Gender equality
    • Women's and / or girls' rights
    Type:
    Recommendation
    Session:
    15th session, February 2013
    Status:
    Rejected
    Contents:
    Continue strengthening protective measures and legal rights for women and children, including by giving women equal status to men in matters of divorce, inheritance and child custody.
    Implementation
    Para 49) [CEDAW] was particularly concerned about the de jure maintenance of male guardianship of women and girls, the impossibility for an Emirati woman to sign her own marriage contract, the continued practice of dowry, the obligation imposed on a woman to obey her husband, including sexually, the maintenance of polygamy and the limited grounds available to women to seek divorce, while men could unilaterally request a divorce for any reason.
    Para 50) CEDAW took note of the 2011 decree granting nationality to children born of Emirati women and foreign fathers upon reaching the age of majority. However, it remained concerned that Emirati women were still denied equality regarding nationality compared with the rights guaranteed to men.
    Para 51) [CEDAW] was deeply concerned that a divorced woman lost custody of her daughters when they reached 13 years of age and of her sons when they reached 11 years of age, or even before those ages if she remarried.

    Stakeholder Summary:
    Para 54) According to HRW, Federal Law No. 28 of 2005 regulated matters of personal status, and some of its provisions discriminated against women. For instance, the law provided that, for a woman to marry, her male guardian must conclude her marriage contract; men had the right to unilaterally divorce their wives, whereas a woman who wished to divorce her husband must apply for a court order; a woman could lose her right to maintenance if, for example, she refused to have sexual relations with her husband without a lawful excuse; and women were required to “obey” their husbands. A woman might be considered disobedient, with few exceptions, if she decided to work without her husband’s consent.

  • State Under Review:

    United Arab Emirates

    United Arab Emirates
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Political group
    OIC
    AL
    Source Of Reference:

    UN Compilation

    Issue:
    • International human rights instruments
    • Trafficking in women and / or girls
    Type:
    Review Documentation
    Session:
    15th session, February 2013
    Status:
    Reference Addressed
    Contents:
    CEDAW and the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, noted with appreciation that the United Arab Emirates had ratified the Palermo Protocol. [Para 5]
  • State Under Review:

    United Arab Emirates

    United Arab Emirates
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Political group
    OIC
    AL
    Source Of Reference:

    UN Compilation

    Issue:
    • Violence against women / gender-based violence
    Type:
    Review Documentation
    Session:
    15th session, February 2013
    Status:
    Reference Addressed
    Contents:
    ... It urged the United Arab Emirates to give high priority to comprehensive measures to address all forms of violence against women and girls. [Para 27; CEDAW]
  • State Under Review:

    United Arab Emirates

    United Arab Emirates
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Political group
    OIC
    AL
    Source Of Reference:

    National Report

    Issue:
    • Birth registration
    Type:
    Review Documentation
    Session:
    15th session, February 2013
    Status:
    N/A
    Contents:
    ... Federal Act No. 18 of 2009, concerning the organization of the register of births and deaths... [Para b]
  • State Under Review:

    United Arab Emirates

    United Arab Emirates
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Political group
    OIC
    AL
    Source Of Reference:

    Italy

    Italy
    Regional group
    WEOG
    Political group
    EU
    Issue:
    • International human rights instruments
    Type:
    Recommendation
    Session:
    29th Session, January 2018
    Status:
    Unclear Response
    Contents:
    Sign and ratify the two International Covenants and other core international human rights conventions.
    Explanation
    Noted.
  • State Under Review:

    United Arab Emirates

    United Arab Emirates
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Political group
    OIC
    AL
    Source Of Reference:

    Ghana

    Ghana
    Regional group
    Africa Group
    Political group
    AU
    OIF
    Commonwealth
    Issue:
    • International human rights instruments
    Type:
    Recommendation
    Session:
    29th Session, January 2018
    Status:
    Unclear Response
    Contents:
    Consider ratifying the ICCPR.
    Explanation
    Noted.
  • State Under Review:

    United Arab Emirates

    United Arab Emirates
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Political group
    OIC
    AL
    Source Of Reference:

    Afghanistan

    Afghanistan
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Political group
    OIC
    Issue:
    • International human rights instruments
    Type:
    Recommendation
    Session:
    29th Session, January 2018
    Status:
    Unclear Response
    Contents:
    Ratify [...] the International Labour Organization Convention no. 189 concerning decent work for domestic workers […]
    Explanation
    Noted.
  • State Under Review:

    United Arab Emirates

    United Arab Emirates
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Political group
    OIC
    AL
    Source Of Reference:

    Paraguay

    Paraguay
    Regional group
    GRULAC
    Political group
    OAS
    OEI
    Issue:
    • Women's and / or girls' rights
    Type:
    Recommendation
    Session:
    29th Session, January 2018
    Status:
    Accepted
    Contents:
    Put in place access and non-discrimination measures, enabling all boys and girls residing in its country the fulfilment of their right to education.
  • State Under Review:

    United Arab Emirates

    United Arab Emirates
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Political group
    OIC
    AL
    Source Of Reference:

    Japan

    Japan
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Issue:
    • Empowerment of women
    Type:
    Recommendation
    Session:
    29th Session, January 2018
    Status:
    Accepted
    Contents:
    Continue to implement the “National Strategy for the Empowerment and Advancement of Emirati Women” and its relevant cabinet decisions, in order to continue to promote the social engagement of women.
  • State Under Review:

    United Arab Emirates

    United Arab Emirates
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Political group
    OIC
    AL
    Source Of Reference:

    Vietnam

    Vietnam
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Political group
    ASEAN
    OIF
    Issue:
    • Maternal health / morbidity / mortality
    • Marginalized groups of women
    Type:
    Recommendation
    Session:
    29th Session, January 2018
    Status:
    Accepted
    Contents:
    Continue its efforts in the promotion and protection of the rights of vulnerable groups, in particular pregnant migrants.
  • State Under Review:

    United Arab Emirates

    United Arab Emirates
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Political group
    OIC
    AL
    Source Of Reference:

    UN Compilation

    Issue:
    • "Adultery"
    Type:
    Review Documentation
    Session:
    3rd session, December 2008
    Status:
    Neglected
    Contents:
    In 2006, the SR on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions sent an urgent appeal on the question of death penalty in relation to a foreign national, who has been sentenced to death by stoning by a Shari'a court in the Emirate of Fujairah on 10 June 2006. This married man was sentenced for committing adultery. No response was provided by the authorities to the SR. [Para 11]
  • State Under Review:

    United Arab Emirates

    United Arab Emirates
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Political group
    OIC
    AL
    Source Of Reference:

    UN Compilation

    Issue:
    • Women's and / or girls' rights
    Type:
    Review Documentation
    Session:
    29th Session, January 2018
    Status:
    Reference Addressed
    Contents:
    CEDAW … recommended that the United Arab Emirates ... prohibit and sanction all forms of discrimination against women, encompassing both direct and indirect discrimination in the public and private spheres. It urged the United Arab Emirates to repeal as a matter of priority all legal provisions that continued to discriminate against women, including those contained in the Penal Code and the Personal Status Law. [Para 48]
  • State Under Review:

    United Arab Emirates

    United Arab Emirates
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Political group
    OIC
    AL
    Source Of Reference:

    UN Compilation

    Issue:
    • Gender equality
    Type:
    Review Documentation
    Session:
    29th Session, January 2018
    Status:
    Not Followed up with a Recommendation
    Contents:
    CEDAW … recommended that the United Arab Emirates incorporate, without further delay, the principle of equality of women and men into its Constitution,... [Para 48]
  • State Under Review:

    United Arab Emirates

    United Arab Emirates
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Political group
    OIC
    AL
    Source Of Reference:

    National Report

    Issue:
    • Gender equality
    • Women's and / or girls' rights
    Type:
    Review Documentation
    Session:
    3rd session, December 2008
    Status:
    N/A
    Contents:
    The State took another step forward in 2006 when it launched a national initiative to include women in development issues in the United Arab Emirates and in all governmental and non-governmental sectors and to promote gender equality in policies, programmes, projects and legislation in order to support sustainable development. Other objectives of the initiative include, improving the resources and building the capacities of women's organizations and developing their partnerships with State and community structures. [Page 18]
  • State Under Review:

    United Arab Emirates

    United Arab Emirates
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Political group
    OIC
    AL
    Source Of Reference:

    Stakeholder Summary

    Issue:
    • Sexual harassment
    • Marital rape
    • Domestic violence
    • Human rights defenders
    • Violence against women / gender-based violence
    • Sexual violence
    Type:
    Review Documentation
    Session:
    3rd session, December 2008
    Status:
    Neglected
    Contents:
    Activists who dare to denounce such violations (sexual harassment, domestic abuse, spousal rape) are placed under intense pressure. [Para 13]
  • State Under Review:

    United Arab Emirates

    United Arab Emirates
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Political group
    OIC
    AL
    Source Of Reference:

    Indonesia

    Indonesia
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Political group
    ASEAN
    OIC
    Issue:
    • Women's and / or girls' rights
    Type:
    Recommendation
    Session:
    3rd session, December 2008
    Status:
    Accepted
    Contents:
    To continue efforts to strengthen the rights of women and to further the advancement and development of women's rights in the international dimension.
    Implementation
    National Report Annex:
    The concerned stakeholders in the UAE, headed by the General Women's Union (and in cooperation with specialized international organizations), have engaged in developing a strategy for the five coming years, which takes into account the indicators and criteria set out in the Millennium Development Goals and the conventions ratified by the UAE such as the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women It is expected that the strategy will be launched by the end of 2012, so that government institutions at both federal and local levels as well as civil society organizations can develop adequate plans to implement this strategy so as to secure a mechanism to ensure continued efforts to empower women in the area of education, health, economy, social work, legislation, environment, media and political participation.

    The General Women's Union issued publications to raise awareness of women's rights and informative pamphlets about different laws. It also maintains ongoing communication with United Nations organizations concerned with women's issues, such as the UN Women, United Nations Development Programme and ESCWA to benefit from international experiences and best practices in the promotion and development of women's rights.

    The General Women's Union started the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS4), which is a global household survey program developed by UNICEF which supervises its application. The survey is designed to gather sound data statistics and estimates internationally comparable with key indicators used to assess the status of women and children in the areas of health, education and social protection. The MICS4 survey also provides a tool to monitor progress towards achieving the national goals and global commitments which aim to promote the welfare of women and children, including the MDGs.

    The Council of Ministers issued Decision No. 51/4w/2 of 2010 by which it set up the Standing Committee for Universal Periodic Review which is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the periodic review outcome and preparing its review process. The Committee's members are the General Women's Union, which represents women's associations in the country, the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, federal and local government agencies, and a number of civil society institutions in the UAE. This membership represents a real guarantee to ensure the participation of women and women's associations in implementing the results of the universal periodic review and addressing women concerns.

    Legislative and legal measures in the UAE tend to eliminate gender discrimination, since the UAE has adopted a number of policies to ensure the advancement of the status of women, their enjoyment of all their constitutional and legal rights, their participation in decision-making and representativeness at the international level. Women in the UAE enjoy high equality rates compared with men in all areas, since women hold 66% of government jobs, 30% of which are senior leadership jobs associated with decision-making, 15% of the teaching staff at the United Arab Emirates University, and about 60% of professional jobs, which include medicine, teaching, pharmacy and nursing, in addition to their enrolment in the armed forces, police and customs.

    To ensure equality between women and men in the UAE, Article 32 of the Labour Law provides that "working woman shall be entitled to the same wage as that of a working man, if she does the same work". Similarly, the equality issue in the UAE takes into account the different nature of women that may affect their performance at work compared to men, since legal texts were developed for this purpose in order to preserve women's rights and enable them to better perform their work based on these provisions. Employment of women in hazardous work has been banned under Article 29 of labour Law, whereas Article 27 codified women working hours, especially night hours. The issue of motherhood for working women has been solved by the Council of Ministers Decision No. 19 of 2006, which calls on ministries, government agencies, institutions and departments to establish nurseries if the number of their married females reaches 50.
  • State Under Review:

    United Arab Emirates

    United Arab Emirates
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Political group
    OIC
    AL
    Source Of Reference:

    Guatemala

    Guatemala
    Regional group
    GRULAC
    Political group
    OAS
    OEI
    ACS
    Issue:
    • International human rights instruments
    Type:
    Recommendation
    Session:
    15th session, February 2013
    Status:
    Unclear Response
    Contents:
    Ratify ICCPR and ICESCR.
    Explanation
    Taken note of.
    Implementation
    Stakeholder Summary:
    Para 2) Treatment Action Group (TAG) indicated that, despite several recommendations under the 2008 and 2013 UPR reviews […] the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had not acceded to ICESCR nor ICCPR.
  • State Under Review:

    United Arab Emirates

    United Arab Emirates
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Political group
    OIC
    AL
    Source Of Reference:

    Singapore

    Singapore
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Political group
    ASEAN
    Commonwealth
    Issue:
    • Gender equality
    Type:
    Recommendation
    Session:
    15th session, February 2013
    Status:
    Accepted
    Contents:
    Continue its efforts to promote gender equality and eliminate discrimination against women and girls.
    Implementation
    National Report:
    Para 6D) The United Arab Emirates Gender Balance Council was established in 2015 to reduce gender disparities and achieve gender balance in the public and private sectors, particularly in decision-making positions.
    Para 8) … The National Strategy for the Empowerment and Advancement of Emirati Women (2015–2021) promotes women’s empowerment and capacity-building, addresses impediments hindering the participation of women in all fields, strengthens women’s participation in development initiatives and enhances the status of Emirati women in regional and international forums.
    Para 26) The State has continued to strengthen its efforts towards the empowerment of women, gender equality and the elimination of discrimination against women, […] Its most important initiatives in that regard include the following:
    • The launching of The National Strategy for the Empowerment and Advancement of Emirati Women (2015–2021). The Strategy provides a general reference and guiding framework for all governmental institutions at the federal and local levels, as well as for private and civil society institutions to facilitate their development of plans and programmes to ensure that women enjoy decent lives and can participate fully in the sustainable development process;
    • The issuing on 9 December 2014 of a Cabinet decision that mandates the inclusion of women on the governing boards of all Government bodies, institutions and companies;
    • There were 9 female members of the Federal National Council during its 16th legislative session, constituting 22.5 per cent of the Council’s total membership of 40 members;
    • Emirati women comprise 43 per cent of the workforce and hold 66 per cent of governmental sector positions, including 30 per cent of senior decision-making posts. They also hold 15 per cent of professional posts;
    Para 31) The third set of elections to the Federal National Council,4 held in 2015, constituted one of the most important stages in the Political Empowerment Programme. Those elections were considered to be more important than the previous elections in 2011, in that they widened the scope of citizens’ political participation. A total of 224,281 individuals took part in the election, equivalent to an increase of 66 per cent compared with 2011, and women and men participated on an equal footing, in line with the commitments of the United Arab Emirates pursuant to international declarations on political rights and the rights of women. Women’s participation rates in the 2015 election were high, with national participation rates of 52 per cent for men and 48 per cent for women. A total of 330 candidates stood for election, comprising 265 men and 74 women; women’s participation rates in the elections were therefore particularly noteworthy. For the first time, voting also took place at State diplomatic missions abroad. The 2015 vote resulted in the election of the first woman to head the Federal National Council in the country’s history; she is also the first woman to head a parliamentary institution in the Arab world.
    Para 32) The Constitution of the United Arab Emirates stipulates that women and men enjoy the same rights. It also affirms the principles of equality and social justice and the full right of women to education and employment on an equal footing with men. There were significant improvements in the situation of women between 2013 and 2017, including the following:
    • The promulgation on 9 December 2014 of a Cabinet decision mandating the inclusion of women on the governing boards of all Government bodies, institutions and companies;
    • The inclusion of 8 female ministers in the 29-member Cabinet in 2016. This figure is one of the highest in the world, and reflects the progress achieved by women in the United Arab Emirates. The most important feature of the new Government is its structure, which includes recently-established ministries, some of which have no counterparts anywhere in the world. The most important of these ministries are the Ministries of Tolerance and Happiness, which are both headed by Emirati women and reflect the significant developments and remarkable progress achieved by the State in the fields of happiness and tolerance. Indeed, as a result of the country’s wise leadership, the Emirati people is among the happiest peoples on earth;
    • There were 9 female members of the Federal National Council during the 16th legislative session, constituting 22.5 per cent of the Council’s total membership of 40 members;
    • Emirati women comprise 43 per cent of the workforce and hold 66 per cent of governmental sector positions, including 30 per cent of senior decision-making posts. They also hold 15 per cent of professional posts;
    • Women now work as prosecutors and judges within the judiciary and the Office of the Public Prosecutor. There are also increasing numbers of women in the police and the military;
    • Women currently comprise 30 per cent of the diplomatic corps at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and, in total, there were 234 female staff members in the country’s diplomatic and consular corps in 2017. These included a number of ambassadors representing the United Arab Emirates abroad.
    • Women constitute 71.6 per cent of the students at government universities and 50.1 per cent of the students in private universities and colleges. These figures are among the highest in the world;
    • Women’s participation in economic activity and the labour market has increased steadily since the establishment of the Emirates Businesswomen Council. There are approximately 22,000 businesswomen registered with the country’s chambers of commerce and industry; those businesswomen are active in both domestic and international markets and oversee investments of more than 42 billion dirhams.
    Para 65) In June 2015, the General Women’s Union, in cooperation with UNDP, and the Abu Dhabi-based National Committee for Elections to the National Council, organized a workshop on women and political participation. The workshop was organized as part of the State’s efforts to promote women’s empowerment and their participation in decision-making.

    UN Compilation:
    Para 6) CEDAW reiterated its concern over the lack of information on the legal framework defining the mandate of the General Women’s Union as the national machinery for the advancement of women. It was also concerned that the practical implementation of the national strategy for the empowerment and advancement of Emirati women remained unclear.
    Para 57) CEDAW welcomed the fact that 30 per cent of leadership positions in the Government were held by women. However, it noted that women, nevertheless, remained underrepresented in the Federal National Council and in the judiciary and that, while they accounted for 71.6 per cent of university students, they represented only 15 per cent of faculty members.
    Para 59) CEDAW welcomed Cabinet Decision No. 319/15F/22 on the promotion of women’s participation in the boards of directors of federal authorities, companies and institutions. However, it was concerned about the absence of a clear strategy to translate political will into reality, …

    Stakeholder Summary:
    Para 52) HRW stated that discrimination on the basis of sex and gender was not included in the definition of discrimination in the 2015 anti-discrimination law,…
  • State Under Review:

    United Arab Emirates

    United Arab Emirates
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Political group
    OIC
    AL
    Source Of Reference:

    Austria

    Austria
    Regional group
    WEOG
    Political group
    EU
    Issue:
    • Marginalized groups of women
    • Gender equality
    • Sexual violence
    • Domestic violence
    Type:
    Recommendation
    Session:
    15th session, February 2013
    Status:
    Unclear Response
    Contents:
    Enshrine full equality between women and men in the Constitution and enact specific legislation to protect women, including foreign domestic workers from sexual and domestic violence.
    Explanation
    Taken note of.
    Implementation
    UN Compilation:
    Para 52) [CEDAW] noted with serious concern that, in 2010, the Federal Supreme Court had issued a ruling upholding the right of men to chastise their wives and children and that, in 2013, the United Arab Emirates had not accepted the recommendation made during the second cycle of the universal periodic review to repeal article 53 of the Penal Code, which authorized that right. The Committee was also concerned about the slow progress that had been achieved in enacting comprehensive legislation on violence against women.
    Para 53) [CEDAW] was concerned about violence against women resulting from the criminalization of consensual sexual relations between adults outside of marriage, under article 356 of the Penal Code, and the use of that article to criminalize women in prostitution and women who were victims of trafficking, sexual exploitation and abuse. It was concerned that, in all those cases, women faced harsh sanctions, such as prison sentences, torture and the death penalty, and inhuman, cruel or degrading punishment in the form of stoning or flogging. It was also concerned that hundreds of women were reportedly serving sentences after being convicted of having sexual intercourse outside of marriage (zina).
    Para 54) [CEDAW] was concerned that access to justice by women and girls, including effective legal remedies, was severely hampered by the reluctance to register complaints and the negative attitudes of law enforcement officials towards women denouncing acts of violence committed against them.
    Para 82) CEDAW regretted that, under the new standard contract regulating employment relations between women migrant domestic workers and their employers, women domestic workers might still be required to work 16 hours a day, were not guaranteed a minimum wage, remained excluded from the application of the Labour Code and could still not change employers without running the risk of facing charges of “absconding”. The Committee was concerned that the practice of confiscation of passports by employers remained widespread and prevented women from escaping abusive situations.
    Para 83) A group of special procedure mandate holders highlighted that migrant women employed as domestic workers were easy targets for gender-based violence, including sexual violence, beatings, threats and psychological abuse, which was perpetrated with impunity.

    Stakeholder Summary:
    Para 55) HRW continued that Article 53 of the Penal Code allowed the imposition of “chastisement by a husband to his wife and the chastisement of minor children” so long as the assault did not exceed the limits prescribed by Sharia, or Islamic law. Marital rape was not a crime. Furthermore, in 2010, the Federal Supreme Court issued a ruling—citing the Penal Code—that sanctioned husbands’ beating and inflicting other forms of punishment or coercion on their wives, provided they did not leave physical marks.

  • State Under Review:

    United Arab Emirates

    United Arab Emirates
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Political group
    OIC
    AL
    Source Of Reference:

    Philippines

    Philippines
    Regional group
    Asia-Pacific Group
    Political group
    ASEAN
    Issue:
    • International human rights instruments
    • Trafficking in women and / or girls
    Type:
    Recommendation
    Session:
    15th session, February 2013
    Status:
    Accepted
    Contents:
    Step up efforts in amending some provisions of Federal Law 51 of 2006 on combating human trafficking to better align it with the Palermo Protocol.
    Implementation
    National Report:
    Para 60) Programme of Assistance for Victims of Human Trafficking: The State has opened up residential and psycho-support centres for victims of human trafficking, as this is a key element of the country’s strategic plan to combat this scourge. The following are some of the most important centres:
    • The Dubai Association for the Protection of Women and Children, which was founded in 2007 to provide urgent care and support services to victims, in line with international human rights standards. The Association provides its services free of charge to female and child victims of domestic violence, children subjected to illtreatment and victims of human trafficking.

    UN Compilation:
    Para 36) CRC was concerned that children continued to be trafficked to the United Arab Emirates for the purpose of sexual exploitation or for forced begging. It was also concerned that such children were not properly identified and were often deported without proper identification, and that trafficking victims encountered challenges to registering the birth of their children, especially those born out of wedlock as a result of sexual abuse.