The paper "Participation as Human Rights: the United Arab Emirates" is an engrossing example of thesis on sociology. A point of concern has been the United Arab Emirates where there have been recognitions that citizen engagement in federal policy development is a human right, especially for women’ s participation in policy framework and development. In light with United States Resolution 1325 that have advocated for women and citizen participation in policy frameworks, UAE has adopted different measures, seen as an approach to recognise human rights, to attain citizen inclusivity across social, economic and political realms of the state as well as encouraging its citizens to broaden women’ s participation.
Taking a case of Vicente and Novo (2014), this was an indication that the government was realizing that indeed, citizen participation and for this matter, women were human right and refused to marginalize women in society in all roles that complied with Sharia. These decisions were reached after deliberations with clerics (ulema). Recent data from United Nations Development Programme’ s Gender-Related Development Index for 2015/2016 the UAE is ranked 40th among 177 countries and 20th in the world on the Gender Empowerment Measure when it comes to women participation in policy frameworks and decision making (Kayman 2017).
This is evidence that UAE is not only recognising citizen engagement as a human right approach but it does so by ensuring that women are given equal rights to shape public policy. The public policy is not only made by politicians but by thousands of UAE women of public servants and tens of thousands others at home through different forum including the government’ s eGovernment portal (Spiro 2014). From this position, UAE is in a situation where they recognise that citizens have rights and among these rights include the right to participate in making the decisions that affect the public welfare.
When it comes to civic engagement and participation, citizens are referred to as the drivers of change. To mean that citizens are responsible for the democratic change and also it is an effective way to empower citizens (Wills 2016). Understanding the change that is made through citizen engagement and participation has become the key to good governance and freedom.
According to the Human Rights Watch, civic engagement is a human right because everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion and can speak freely (Katz & Subramanian 2011; Owen 2014). Citizens are supposed to have access to information regarding matters of the state. The right to accessing public information is the core factor to exercise the rights and engage in policy and decision-making. Citizens are advised to do away with any barriers along the way that hinder access to information. Accessing information is basically the first step for citizens and this makes them able to lay the ground for citizen participation and engagement (In Ziegler et al.
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