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Through the Looking Glass: Applying a Gender Lens to Unemployment in Ras Al Khaimah

The government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has actively pursued Emiratization in the private sector, exemplified by the 2021 Nafis Program, aiming to connect unemployed Emiratis with private organizations through monetary incentives. While the program has surpassed its national target, approximately 5,000 Emiratis remain unemployed in Ras Al Khaimah.

This paper examines existing gender disparities in employment through adopting a gender lens. By utilizing data obtained from the Ras Al Khaimah Government and drawing on insights from Al Malki and Pretorius (2023), our analysis prompts a reflection on the potential of targeted, gender-specific policies to alleviate the unemployment rates among Emirati men and women.

We begin by outlining the Nafis Program, followed by an exploration of gendered aspects in education and employment within the Gulf and the UAE. Our analysis identifies key challenges, shaping subsequent discussions. This culminates in strategic recommendations designed to enhance labor market participation for Emirati men and women in Ras Al Khaimah.

Recommended citation: Farhat, J., Almalki, S., & Maluch, J. (2024). Through the Looking Glass: Applying a Gender Lens to Unemployment in Ras Al Khaimah (Policy Paper No. 69). Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research.

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