Emirati women’s parliamentary empowerment
The UAE has succeeded in empowering Emirati women in the parliamentary field, with 24 of them becoming members of the Federal National Council (FNC) during the last three legislative chapters.
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 Arab region and the Middle East.
The FNC membership period, which is known as a legislative chapter, begins from the date of its first meeting and lasts four years.
The FNC’s 14th legislative chapter in 2006 was the first to see the participation of Emirati women, who won nine out of the 40 available seats. Dr Amal was the first woman to win in parliamentary elections.
The successes of Emirati women continued during the FNC’s 15th and 16th legislative chapters in 2011 and 2016. The FNC’s 15th legislative chapter witnessed the appointment of six women. Shaikha Al Arri was the second Emirati women to be elected to parliament.
The FNC’s 16th legislative chapter witnessed the appointment of seven women, and Naema Al Sharhan won the elections to become the third Emirati woman to acquire FNC membership.
There are 40 members of the FNC, apportioned among the seven emirates, with eight seats each for Abu Dhabi and Dubai, six seats each for Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah and four seats each for Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah. Since 2006, half of the 40 FNC members have been elected to serve four-year terms. The other half of the House comprises officials who have been appointed by the Ruler’s Court of the seven emirates.