The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is being widely ridiculed after it emerged that the four prize winners for an initiative designed to foster gender equality in the workplace were all men.
Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the vice-president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai, handed out prizes the categories of "best government entity supporting gender balance", "best federal authority supporting gender balance" and "best gender balance initiative" at a ceremony on Sunday.
. @HHShkMohd: 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. #UAE pic.twitter.com/zKPkn9nTMd
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) January 27, 2019
Dubai's media office proudly shared photos of the ceremony on social media only to be met with ridicule and laughter.
The glaring omission became the source of an avalanche of mocking tweets. "There's something about all these winners of the UAE's "Gender Balance" Awards. I just can't put my finger on it," joked one twitter follower ridiculing UAE authorities for the obvious contradiction.
There's something about all these winners of the UAE's "Gender Balance" Awards. I just can't put my finger on it… https://t.co/L2z1iTqJZJ
— Stephen Lautens (@stephenlautens) January 28, 2019
With no women to be seen at the award on gender equality another incredulous twitter user was unable to hide their astonishment: "Something seems off here, but I'm not quite sure what, exactly".
"UAE's gender equality awards"
— Martijn Dekker (@martijndekker) January 28, 2019
Another pointed to the glaring irony that seemed to have been lost amongst UAE officials. "UAE show the world just how woke they are by awarding all four gender equality awards to men."
— Jon Cornejo (@Jon_Cornejo) January 28, 2019
Some simply said: "I don't know if I should laugh or cry."
— Indre Anskaityte (@anskaityte) January 28, 2019
Others were more direct in their denunciation of the Gulf state, which is known to invest millions of dollars across the world to portray a polished image: "You can't make this shit up – UAE's gender equality awards won entirely by men."
hier was heiteres aus UAE (Dubai, bzw Abu Dhabi) You can't make this shit up – UAE's gender equality awards won entirely by men 😂😂😂https://t.co/Iq1NgYVHm8…/uae-mocked-for-gender-equalit… pic.twitter.com/B7RFw4sBf2
— Heiko Jockers (@hjockers) January 28, 2019
Some were also left perplexed "No token women here.,,, Gender equality awards in UAE won entirely by men".
Officials in Dubai, however, seemed oblivious to the apparent contradiction in celebrating what appears to be nothing more than self-promotion. Perhaps the country's media office expected applause after gloating that "gender balance has become a pillar in our government institutions." Unsurprisingly what they received instead was a barrage of mocking denunciation.