The Sudden Surge in Gender Legal Reform in the UAE

Publication Date
Financial Markets Group Discussion Papers DP 889
Publication Authors

Since 2017, the United Arab Emirates have introduced several gender legal reforms after decades of poor performance on economic and social equality between women and men. This legal progress is motivated by a desire to promote the UAE as a destination for expatriate professionals and investors. Hidden behind these encouraging steps are slowly changing inequalities in economic opportunity. Governments in neighboring Gulf countries have also embarked on publicity campaigns around increased gender legal equality, with the goal of influencing perceptions on the role of women in society. The difficulties in this societal transformation are manifested in the gap between advertised and actual change.