Mona Hamade (Cambridge Overseas Trust Scholar)
Women and Emiratisation in the UAE Workforce
Supervisor: Dr Jude Browne (UCCGS)
“The Centre for Gender Studies as a whole has been such an amazing support system during my time at the University of Cambridge. It has provided me with extensive academic and professional networks that have proven instrumental for my post graduate career. I successfully defended my thesis on October 2015. Following on from graduation, I have been granted a book contract – turning my thesis into a book looking at youth employment in the Middle East. In addition to that, I am currently working on a UN Women Project as a Regional Project Manager producing economic and gender profiles for the Arab Gulf States. I am looking forward to establishing new academic programmes in the UK and Qatar focusing on women and employment in the Middle East and North Africa.”
My research explores the recent ‘Emiratisation’ initiatives aimed at increasing female citizens' economic activity within the UAE labour market. In my work I attempt to develop classic Rentier State Theory to better understand the changes in UAE labour market dynamics under state led nationalization strategies. In particular, I focus on how women are increasingly being seen as a vital human capital resource and as active agents of social change. Their participation in the workforce, job sector preference and a more cohesive nationalization policy are critical factors in the success of the United Arab Emirates’ future economic diversification. My fieldwork involves qualitative research on university graduates, bank employees and policy makers across the UAE. In 2011, I was invited to the American University of Sharjah as a visiting scholar whilst conducting my fieldwork in the UAE and I also invited to speak on my research at the Cambridge in Sharjah Symposium entitled Perspectives on Middle Eastern Studies (jointly organised by the University of Cambridge and the American University of Sharjah) in March of this year.