The government of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) held its yearly gender balance awards on Sunday, awarding every single prize to a man.
Dubai’s government honored three winners in its Gender Balance Index 2018 awards, giving out prizes for the best gender balance “personality,” the top government department supporting initiatives to put men and women on equal footing, and an award for promoting gender equality in the workplace.
But when the city’s press office tweeted out a picture of the award winners following Sunday’s awards presentation, all the recipients of the awards were men.
. @HHShkMohd honors the winners of the Gender Balance Index 2018. The Index features three categories: Best Personality for Supporting Gender Balance, Best Federal Entity for Supporting Gender Balance, and the Best Initiative for Supporting Gender Balance. #UAE pic.twitter.com/qE5GkYHzTo
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) January 27, 2019
Dubai’s leader, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum (pictured, top), reportedly recognized one woman, Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, while at the ceremony.
She was applauded for executing “exceptional projects that helped achieve the nation’s goals of gender balance,” according to the press release. But the woman did not win an official award.
The woman also happens to be part of the royal family and is married to Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan.
Dubai leader’s called the award ceremony “a great effort” to create an environment that promotes gender equality, as he tweeted a picture of the all-male reward recipients on his personal account:
كرمنا اليوم الفائزين بمؤشر التوازن بين الجنسين في دولة الامارات … جهود كبيرة قادتها الكثير من الجهات لترسيخ بيئة تحقق توازنا كاملا بين الجنسين … كان الشيخ سيف بن زايد الشخصية الأبرز في دعم هذا الملف … له ولإخوانه وزملائه في حكومة الامارات كل التقدير والشكر .. pic.twitter.com/z36gZIUstM
— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) January 27, 2019
The UN Human Development Reports on worldwide Gender Development Index (GDI) found that the United Arab Emirates surpasses its fellow Middle Eastern countries in terms of achieving gender balance.
The United Arab Emirates’ ranks 34 on the list, attaining a GDI of 0.97, while neighboring Saudi Arabia ranked several slots below at 39 with a GDI of 0.88.
But Twitter users around the world were not convinced, with many around the world pointing out the hypocrisy of a government bestowing gender equality awards only to men:
All winners of Gender Balance Index are men?! https://t.co/blTDBrbVpE
— Golnaz Esfandiari (@GEsfandiari) January 27, 2019
Best Gender Balance Awards Ever https://t.co/OZ7T2LjeQm
— Nicholas McGeehan (@NcGeehan) January 27, 2019
This would be funny, if it wasn't so utterly depressing. https://t.co/4TQ1AuP5Hx
— Oz Katerji (@OzKaterji) January 28, 2019