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2-05-2012 - Gulfnews By Shehab Al Makahleh

Emirati women all for public sector, not for private

Abu Dhabi: Emirati women constitute about two thirds of the UAE's public sector workforce, yet, there are some barriers keeping them away from working at the private sector, ministry of labour said on celebrations of the Labour Day on Wednesday.

According to recent statistics by the ministry of labour, about 5 per cent of female Emiratis are currently working at the private sector.

Noura Al Marzouki, director of strategic planning department at the ministry of labour, called on private firms to provide greater adaptability for women in order to help them juggle family life and careers.

Integrating Emirati women into the private sector is very important and significant for us to help build a knowledge-driven economy to meet Abu Dhabi's Economic Vision 2030," said Al Marzouki.

Ahlam Al Lamki, director of research and development at the General Women's Union, said: "Companies in the private sector could attract gifted Emirati women by stressing the importance and contribution of this sector to the country's economy."

Integrating Emirati women into the private sector is not easy as it appears because this is a matter of ideology and belief that the state work is secured and even much more lucrative than the private sector, added Al Lamki.

"However, on the long run, this will be unavoidable as Emiratisation (Tawteen) efforts will increase due to the increase in the number of young Emiratis entering the workforce annually.

She urged private sector companies to consider the benefits of being a pioneer in attracting gifted Emirati women.

Shaikha M., 27, told the Gulf News that she started working in the private sector end of December 2011, and she is so much satisfied, but her father told her since the beginning that this is a temporary job until she gets something better at the government.

"Since beginning of March 2011, I moved from the private sector to the public sector as the salary is much better and the working conditions are much more stable and secured," said Shaikha.

"I know why many men and women prefer the government jobs. It is because of several benefits. It is more secure, it allows to work fewer hours, it provides extra time for the employee for his leisure time and activities," explained Shaikha.

Mahra Qubaisi, 23, said that since her graduation she was appointed at the public sector and she prefers it to the private sector because of commuting, work location and office hours.

"Working hours are a major barrier for not working at the private sector. Salaries are also less than those at the public sector which many married women face," added Qubaisi.


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