United Arab Emirates’ Gender Balance Awards Went Entirely to Men

“Wow, did The Onion hack y’all?” one person asked on Twitter

Last Updated: February 4, 2019 @ 4:58 PM

A United Emirates award ceremony to promote gender equality is being ridiculed Monday because all of its prizes were given to men.

The Gender Balance Index 2018 awards were presented Sunday in three categories: Awards for Best Personality for Supporting Gender Balance, Best Federal Entity for Supporting Gender Balance, and the Best Initiative for Supporting Gender Balance.

The awards, presented by the vice president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, were established as a way to celebrate programs that advance equal opportunities for men and women.

Prizes went to the finance ministry, the federal competitiveness and statistics authority, and the ministry of human resources respectively, all of which were accepted by men.

“We are proud of the success of Emirati women and their role is central to shaping the future of the country. Gender balance has become a pillar in our governmental institutions read a tweet from the official Dubai media office,” a tweet from the Dubai’s government official Twitter account read on Sunday.

But the tweets, which came complete with pictures of the all-male winners, was met with mockery on social media.

“Wow, did The Onion hack y’all?” one follower tweeted, referring to the satirical newspaper.

“I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you, but you forgot to invite WOMEN,” another user, a female, wrote.

The Gender Balance Index has honored women in the past. In 2017, the ceremony’s first year, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashim, the Minister of State for International Cooperation and Chairwoman of the Foreign Credentials Service of America (FCSA), was one of the three honorees.

Despite the lack of female winners in the 2018 Gender Balance awards, the UAE fairs better than most Middle East countries, ranking 34th among nations when it comes to gender equality according to the United Nations.

The Dubai government did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.