Women to make up 50% of UAE Fed­eral Na­tional Coun­cil

Move to con­sol­i­date fu­ture en­deav­ours of the na­tion, en­sure full em­pow­er­ment of Emi­rati women

Gulf News - - Front Page - BY SAMIR SALAMA As­so­ciate Edi­tor

The Pres­i­den­tial de­cree al­lo­cat­ing 50% of the seats in the Fed­eral Na­tional Coun­cil to women is a great leap for­ward in ce­ment­ing the leg­isla­tive and par­lia­men­tary role of women in our na­tion’s de­vel­op­ment.”

Shaikh Mo­ham­mad Bin Rashid

The rep­re­sen­ta­tion of Emi­rati women in the Fed­eral Na­tional Coun­cil (FNC) will more than dou­ble to 50 per cent fol­low­ing a di­rec­tive by Pres­i­dent His High­ness Shaikh Khal­ifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to en­able women to per­form their par­lia­men­tary roles to the fullest.

The move will push the UAE into the top five coun­tries in the world in terms of women’s rep­re­sen­ta­tion in na­tional as­sem­blies.

The move to in­crease their par­tic­i­pa­tion to 50 per cent will con­sol­i­date the fu­ture ori­en­ta­tions of the UAE and achieve full em­pow­er­ment of Emi­rati women, His High­ness Shaikh Mo­ham­mad Bin Rashid Al Mak­toum, Vice-Pres­i­dent and Prime Min­is­ter of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, tweeted.

Shaikh Mo­ham­mad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Com­man­der of the UAE Armed Forces, also took to Twit­ter to con­grat­u­late Emi­rati women on rais­ing their rep­re­sen­ta­tion. “[Women] are part­ners and sup­port­ers of the process of build­ing and de­vel­op­ment and a model of ex­cel­lence,” he said.

The move fol­lows a series of Cab­i­net de­ci­sions to em­power

Emi­rati women and en­hance their role in na­tion-build­ing. Dr Amal Ab­dul­lah Al Qubaisi is the first Emi­rati woman to be­come Speaker of the Fed­eral Na­tional Coun­cil, as well as the first to at­tain such a lead­ing po­si­tion in the the Mid­dle East.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tion of Emi­rati women in the Fed­eral Na­tional Coun­cil will be raised to 50 per cent from the next leg­isla­tive chap­ter, in keep­ing with di­rec­tives of Pres­i­dent His High­ness Shaikh Khal­ifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to en­able women to per­form their par­lia­men­tary roles to the fullest.

This move will con­sol­i­date the fu­ture ori­en­ta­tions of the UAE and achieve full em­pow­er­ment of Emi­rati women, His High­ness Shaikh Mo­ham­mad Bin Rashid Al Mak­toum, Vi­cePres­i­dent and Prime Min­is­ter of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has tweeted.

His High­ness Shaikh Mo­ham­mad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Com­man­der of the UAE Armed Forces, also took to Twit­ter to con­grat­u­late the Emi­rati women on rais­ing their rep­re­sen­ta­tion in the House, which, he said, is a lead­ing step to en­hance their role and con­tri­bu­tion to na­tional de­ci­sion-mak­ing. “[Women] are part­ners and sup­port­ers of the process of build­ing and de­vel­op­ment and a model in ex­cel­lence,” Shaikh Mo­ham­mad Bin Zayed said.

His­toric step

Next year, the UAE is set to hold par­lia­men­tary elec­tions after the end of the cur­rent leg­isla­tive chap­ter by the end of June.

Shaikh Khal­ifa de­creed dou­bling the cur­rent per­cent­age of women’s rep­re­sen­ta­tion in the Fed­eral Na­tional Coun­cil to 50 per cent from 22.5 per cent as of the next par­lia­men­tary ses­sion to put the UAE among the elite na­tions in the world in terms of women’s par­lia­men­tary rep­re­sen­ta­tion. Thus, in a record time, Emi­rati women will achieve what their coun­ter­parts in the world have taken decades to achieve, ac­cord­ing to WAM.

The move comes against the back­drop of a series of the cab­i­net’s leg­isla­tive poli­cies and ini­tia­tives to em­power Emi­rati women and en­hance their role in na­tion-build­ing.

Ap­proved in a spe­cial ses­sion chaired by Shaikh Mo­ham­mad, the poli­cies will seek to in­clude more women’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the UAE’s ju­di­cial sys­tem as well as other lead­er­ship po­si­tions in busi­ness.

“To­day, we have adopted a well-rounded pack­age of new poli­cies and leg­is­la­tion favour­ing Emi­rati women’s em­pow­er­ment and lead­er­ship,” said Shaikh Mo­ham­mad in the ses­sion held at the Gen­eral Women’s Union head­quar­ters in Abu Dhabi.

“Women con­sti­tute over half of so­ci­ety; they build the foun­da­tions of our re­nais­sance whether in ed­u­ca­tion, medicine or en­gi­neer­ing. We must, there­fore, en­hance their dy­namic role in both the UAE and global com­mu­ni­ties, across mul­ti­ple sec­tors.”

Emi­rati women have re­ceived the full sup­port of the ■ wise lead­er­ship since the es­tab­lish­ment of the Union on De­cem­ber 2, 1971 as Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan was keen to sup­port women and en­able them to oc­cupy the high­est po­si­tions.

This vi­sion is rooted in the ap­proach and method­ol­ogy of Shaikh Khal­ifa, who sup­ported Emi­rati women by launch­ing the “Em­pow­er­ment

Pro­gramme” in 2005, the first such pol­icy to be adopted by the FNC.

Azza Su­laiman, FNC mem­ber from Dubai, said this his­toric step is yet an­other fruit of the po­lit­i­cal em­pow­er­ment pro­gramme launched by Shaikh Khal­ifa in his speech on the 34th Na­tional Day. “The Emi­rati woman as­sumed, in a record time, the pres­i­dency of the Fed­eral Na­tional Coun­cil,

just 10 years after her elec­tion as a mem­ber of the House, while in some of the old­est par­lia­men­tary ex­pe­ri­ences, women took 70 years to reach the dome of par­lia­ment,” she said.

Shaikha Al Arri, the sec­ond woman to be elected to the FNC, said: “Our vi­sion­ary lead­er­ship sup­ports women and be­lieves that for a so­ci­ety to be pro­duc­tive, it has to utilise the tal­ents ■

and ca­pa­bil­i­ties of women who rep­re­sent around half of the UAE pop­u­la­tion,” Al Arri said.

Naema Al Sharhan, the third woman to win FNC mem­ber­ship, said: “There is no bet­ter place than the UAE for in­spir­ing women and the UAE has achieved tremen­dous gains for women. It has en­cour­aged women to break down bound­aries.”

Her High­ness

Shaikha Fa­tima Bint Mubarak, Chair­woman of the Gen­eral Women’s Union (GWU), Pres­i­dent of the Supreme Coun­cil for Moth­er­hood and Child­hood, and Supreme Chair­woman of the Fam­ily De­vel­op­ment Foun­da­tion (FDF), has praised the di­rec­tives of Pres­i­dent His High­ness Shaikh Khal­ifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to in­crease Emi­rati women’s rep­re­sen­ta­tion in the Fed­eral Na­tional Coun­cil, FNC, to 50 per cent in the com­ing par­lia­men­tary term.

Shaikha Fa­tima said, ‘’We feel happy on the di­rec­tives of the wise lead­er­ship which is al­ways work­ing for the progress and de­vel­op­ment of the coun­try in all do­mains. The pru­dent lead­er­ship con­tin­ues trac­ing the legacy of the Found­ing Fa­ther, Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who sup­ported women since the es­tab­lish­ment of the coun­try and called on them to take part in the de­vel­op­ment march of the coun­try.

“Now, the wish of Shaikh Zayed has come true after em­pow­er­ing the Emi­rati women as they played their prime role in all fields as an ef­fec­tive con­trib­u­tor along with men.”

She also em­pha­sised that the di­rec­tives of Shaikh Khal­ifa have made the UAE an in­ter­na­tional role model in women’s rep­re­sen­ta­tion in the world’s par­lia­ments and even sur­passed them given the wise lead­er­ship’s be­lief in their na­tional role in all fields.

of gov­ern­ment staff in the UAE are Emi­rati women

value of in­vest­ment by Emi­rati busi­ness­women

Ab­dul Rah­man/Gulf News

FNC mem­bers dur­ing an informal chat at FNC head­quar­ters in Abu Dhabi.

Ab­dul Rah­man/Gulf News

Dr Amal Ab­dul­lah Al Qubaisi, Speaker of FNC.

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