Dubai: Women make up approximately half of the national population in the UAE and are less than a quarter of the national workforce. Yet, they make up more than two-thirds of the unemployed.

Dr Mouawiya Al Awad, acting director of the Centre for Labour Market Research and Information (CLMRI) at the National Human Resources Development and Employment Authority, Tanmia, says that the reason for unemployment among women is because social changes have raised the demand for jobs among women.

However, he pointed out that social norms still restricted women from participating in some sectors.

“For example, women are not encouraged to join the army or police force, so their options are limited”, he said. Therefore, according to Al Awad, the ministry of labour took upon itself to integrate women in the labour market by emiratising female-friendly professions.