Image from, with caption: Emirates Diplomatic Academy Convocation 2016 highlights
Abu Dhabi: The Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA) on Wednesday launched the ‘Women in Diplomacy Network’, a global platform designed to offer practical and policy-oriented solutions to help women excel in their foreign affairs and public diplomacy [JB emphasis] careers.
The initiative was announced on the opening day of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Diplomacy Conference that is currently under way in Abu Dhabi. Convened under the patronage of Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the two-day event has brought together more than 300 high-profile personalities, industry thought leaders and practitioners to contribute to discussions shaping the future of diplomacy.
Announcing its launch, Dr Nawal Al-Hosany, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and Deputy Director General of EDA, said that the Women in Diplomacy Network is the outcome of an extensive study that sheds light on gender balance within the field of diplomacy.
The research, conducted by EDA, maps the percentage of female ambassadors representing the countries of the G20 and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in 2018. It indicates that out of the 2,607 ambassadors currently appointed by G20 countries, only 435, or 16.7 per cent, are women.
The UAE is among a group of few nations in the region that are making trailblazing changes to transform diplomacy into a more gender-inclusive field. Currently, the UAE has seven women ambassadors serving in key posts around the world and in international organisations.
Highlighting the results of the study during her presentation on the ‘EDA Gender and Diplomacy Diplograph’, Dr Nawal Al-Hosany said: “While we witness a higher representation of female diplomats today, it is still rare to find them in the role of ambassador, which is widely seen as the pinnacle of a diplomatic career. Hence, we felt a pressing need to create a platform for discussion on the subject.”
Australia leads the G20 countries with women holding 35.9 per cent of ambassadorial posts in 2018, followed by Canada at 35.6 per cent and the United States at 33.1 per cent.