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British website criticizes gender discrimination in UAE

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Middle East Eye has criticized discrimination and inequality between men and women in the United Arab Emirates, which is witnessing an upsurge in scandals over violations of women’s rights.

Middle East Eye pointed to the escape of Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, wife of the UAE Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, Mohammed bin Rashid, to be the third to run away from at least the palaces of the ruler of Dubai.

The website said that the escape of women who fled the UAE claiming domestic violence is at least a good occasion to contemplate the image that the UAE paints for itself as a haven for women’s rights in the midst of a Gulf that oppresses women.

“For example, Sheikh Mohammed established the UAE Council for Gender Equality in 2015, in a move to empower women,” the website said.

“According to the Gender Equality Section of the UAE Government Portal, the Council was established to promote the working environment, by providing equal opportunities for women in the public sector, and by strengthening the efforts of various government agencies to develop and enhance women’s role as key partners in building the future of the state”.

“It all looks great, but last January, Sheikh Mohammed handed over the Gender Equality Awards, and all of the people who received were men!”

As part of the UAE Vision 2021 program, the UAE has also announced that it “aims to become one of the top 25 countries in the world achieving gender equality” by the year 2021.

In a new opinion article, Hiba Ziadin, a Middle East researcher at Human Rights Watch, observes that women also suffer discrimination in divorce cases.

“There are many mothers in the UAE who have lost their custody of their children after divorce,” she said.

It is clear that women migrant workers in the UAE face additional types of atrocities, ranging from unpaid wages to overly extended working days to physical and sexual violence.

Fortunately, the horrifying reality of life in the UAE is hard to resolve with a little publicity. UAE media outlets are constantly promoting the supposed advance commitments of the UAE system while paying more attention to portraying the UAE as “one of the happiest countries in the world.”

Presumably, part of this is due to the presence of a Minister of State for happiness and quality of life, which, as expected, is held by a woman.

But on the ground, nothing is happy. The UAE is a police state in which everyone is constantly monitored, and freedom of expression and other basic human rights are denied.

The UAE government boasts that the country has “opened the first military college for women in the region, Khawla bint Al Azur military school.”

Countless women victims are not convinced of the UAE’s overwhelming commitment to the quality of women’s lives.

There is no doubt that the West is keen to support the modern and sophisticated image of the Emirates from all sides, from shopping malls with ice-skating centers to women’s rights, as it facilitates the justification of loathsome military cooperation with them.

In fact, the UAE is a model society with regard to the adoption of military capitalism, which attracts the global elite.

Recently, Mohammed bin Rashid celebrated a new decision to allocate 50% of seats in the Federal National Council to the UAE to women. “Women are half the society and deserve to represent this half,” he said on Twitter.

According to the US newspaper, the plight faced by women from the family of the governor himself, show that half does not mean equality for a state of grave violations such as the UAE.