Abu Dhabi, UAE: The Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs (MFNCA) organised a remote panel discussion on ‘Women’s representation in the Federal National Council (FNC)’ to celebrate Emirati Women’s Day 2020 on August 28.
The discussion sought to highlight efforts to empower women in the parliamentary sector, the achievements they have made in the field, and the impact of the decision to expand women’s representation in the FNC to 50%, which went into effect in the current Legislative Chapter.
MFNCA Undersecretary His Excellency Tariq Hilal Lootah said: “This panel discussion is part of the great efforts undertaken by the Ministry of State for FNC Affairs to promote political awareness among women and shed light on the UAE’s efforts to empower them and enable them to assume the highest ranks across all sectors. This, undoubtedly, is the result of the unlimited support women have received from the UAE’s wise leadership and from Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation – the ‘Mother of the Nation’.”
H.E. Lootah explained that this remote event, which coincides with celebrations to mark Emirati Women’s Day, underlines the tremendous role that women play in the UAE’s rapid development – particularly in the parliamentary sector, where women have left an indelible mark since the Council’s inception at the founding of the Union.
“The parliamentary sector has undergone remarkable development that culminated in expanding women’s representation in the Federal National Council to 50%,” H.E. added. “This, in turn, reaffirms the role that women play in serving their community, and their contributions towards accomplishing the goals of the UAE Centennial 2071 Plan.”
Meanwhile, His Excellency Dr Saeed Mohammed Alghufli, the Ministry’s Assistant Undersecretary for FNC Affairs, said: “Women have occupied a prominent place in the UAE since our country’s founding by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who firmly believed that any progress to be made in the UAE would require the active and efficient involvement of women and channelling their capacities and expertise towards serving the nation.”
“Driven by this forward-thinking vision towards women’s empowerment, Emirati women led an inspiring journey, carving a place for themselves in the UAE’s development plans, rising through the ranks and proving their ability to lead the most critical of sectors, be they economic, cultural, administrative, or political,” H.E. Alghufliadded. “Women have had a significant impact on the parliamentary sector in the UAE, surpassing their peers in other countries in terms of share of parliamentary seats. In the very first FNC elections in 2006, the UAE celebrated the first Emirati woman to be elected to the Council, bringing the total number of women in parliament to nine out of 40 – that is 22.5% of all seats.”
Speaking at the remote session, Her Excellency Naama Al Mansoori, Member of the FNC, said: “Emirati women have made great strides in the parliamentary sector, which paved the way for a woman to assume the role of Speaker of the Federal National Council during the 16th Legislative Chapter – a first in the Arab world. Women have also served as Deputy Speaker of the Council and heads of parliamentary committees.”
“Presidential Resolution No. (1) of 2019 towards raising women’s representation in the Federal National Council to 50% was a historic milestone and a turning point in the efforts to empower women and engage them in decision making,” H.E. Al Mansoorinoted. “It reflects the forward-thinking approach and vision of the UAE’s wise leadership, which seeks to empower all segments of the community and considers them the building blocks for a prosperous future.”
For her part, Her Excellency Maryam bin Thaniah, FNC Member, discussed the impact that Presidential Resolution No. (1) of 2019 has had on voter turnout among women. “With the decision to expand their representation to half of all seats in the FNC, women have been given unlimited support that has empowered them to accomplish successes unprecedented anywhere in the world,” H.E. added.
“The Resolution has encouraged women to participate in the 2019 elections, both as candidates and as voters. It has enhanced Emirati women’s confidence in their place in the FNC and in any effort to serve the country and its people, reaffirming their contribution alongside their male peers towards building a prosperous future for the UAE,” H.E. bin Thaniah concluded.