Racial discrimination and gender inequality have been pressing subjects across the globe for centuries, including in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE is composed of a diverse population from all over the world. Yet many foreign workers are subjected to discrimination and stereotypes based on their national origin and race. Moreover, gender inequality is institutionally entrenched and widely accepted by society. According to the UAE Constitution, all citizens have an equal right to education and employment. However, there is both formal and informal racial prejudice in the job and educational sectors.
Racial Discrimination In Various Sectors
Racial discrimination has been present in the UAE since its founding in the early 1970s. It has been an issue of increased concern in recent years. To better understand the nature of racial discrimination in the UAE it is important to examine its historical context and reality. The UAE has been a country with a great diversity of cultures and ethnicities. From its foundation, the country has welcomed individuals from all backgrounds. However, they have not supported their ability to thrive and build successful lives in the region.
Despite this, racial discrimination has been present in terms of unequal access to housing, employment, education, healthcare, and other services. This discrimination is caused by prejudice and discrimination against certain ethnic and racial groups. Moreover, it is due to a lack of laws and policies protecting individuals from racial discrimination. There is an absence of effective enforcement of existing laws and regulations.
There is a perception among employers that non-Emirati workers may be less qualified or less hardworking than Emiratis. It is leading to discrimination against ethnic minorities in hiring practices. Similarly, Emiratis are given preferential treatment in the educational sector. They are more likely to be chosen for university places and receive preferential access to the best tutors.
Gender Inequality: Lack Of Rights For Women
Government policies around gender inequality also perpetuate the gap between men and women in the UAE. Emirati women must obtain permission from their fathers or husbands before obtaining a passport or traveling outside of the country. Moreover, there is a gender pay gap in the UAE, wherein women are typically paid significantly less than men.
No matter how well they perform in a job, their pay will be lower than men. In addition, women have limited agency in the courtroom and family cases. Usually, male witnesses are given more weight and preference in such matters. Emirati men significantly obtain positions of power and decision-making in business and politics. This significantly limits the “freedom” of UAE women, as they must constantly seek permission from the male figures in their families.
From a cultural perspective, women are often encouraged to prioritize marriage and child-rearing as compared to educational and career advancement. Moreover, due to the predominant patriarchal system, it is still uncommon to see a woman in a leadership role. They don’t seem appropriate for a highly-skilled job such as a doctor. Women are often overlooked for promotions and advancement opportunities, thus perpetuating gender inequality.
Rising Cases Of Sexual Assault
Assault is a major problem in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It has been on a steady rise over the past few years. Normally an assault can refer to a physical attack, sexual assault, and psychological abuse. It can include a range of behavior from verbal threats and intimidation to physical violence. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, in 2019, UAE saw an 18% increase in reported assault cases.
The main causes of assault are due to breakdown of traditional values and a lack of understanding of the consequences. Due to the traditionally patriarchal structure, raised voices and physical fights have become commonplace between men and women. Many times it results in physical abuse and verbal assault. Furthermore, the UAE’s large population of foreign workers and lack of cultural understanding has led to incidents of racial and cultural discrimination. All these factors can often result in physical assault.
There are no laws regarding the use of drugs. Some social activities involve the consumption of alcohol, which can lead to an increase in aggressive behaviors and the risk of assault. Family members are often reluctant to report because of cultural norms and the potential for social stigma.