Abu Dhabi, UAE: The ‘Electoral Culture Virtual Majlis’ – an initiative by the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs (MFNCA) – hosted its seventh interactive meeting titled‘The Personal Touch of a Confident, Ambitious Woman Parliamentarian’.
Organised in collaboration with the General Women’s Union (GWU), the session featured Ahlam Al Lamki, Head of GWU’s Research and Development Department, who spoke about the many opportunities that Emirati women can benefit from to enhance their political participation and establish world-leading role models for women parliamentarians.
Al Lamki began the lecture by highlighting the progress that Emirati women have made in terms of political empowerment and participation in decision making, encouraged by the support and proactive vision of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, GWU Chairwoman, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF).
“The many initiatives launched by H.H. Sheikha Fatima, Mother of the Nation, and her forward-thinking vision played an immense role in the political empowerment of Emirati women,” she asserted. “They helped raise awareness around the role of women and the importance of engaging them in the UAE’s efforts towards development and prosperity.They were also a leading factor in promoting political participation among women.”
“The Project to Enhance Women Parliamentarians’ Role, launched by H.H. Sheikha Fatima in 2004, is a flagship initiative to support the political empowerment of women in the UAE. The Project led to a series of accomplishments for Emirati women, from female candidates winning in the very first election held in the country, to the several successful women who ascended to leadership decision-making positions in the UAE, where they played an influential role in the country’s ongoing and comprehensive development,” Al Lamki explained.
“Those who follow the issue of women’s political empowerment in the UAE immediately take notice of these developments,” she added.“They reflect the great confidence ourwise leadership has in women and their role in enhancing parliamentary practices in the UAE, as well as their contributions to the advancement of society.These measures set the stage for the election of the first female Speaker of the Federal National Council (FNC), as well as for UAE President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s decision to increase women’s representation to 50% of all seats in the Council, which took effect in the 2019 FNC election.”
Al Lamki applauded the GWU’s efforts to promote a culture of political participation among Emirati women, which included several initiatives that sought to help women develop their skills and support them to get involved in elections. The initiatives ranged from awareness programmes to courses and workshops dedicated to enhancing women’s skills in managing electoral campaigns.
The Head of R&D at the General Women’s Union underlined the importance of benefitting from all the opportunities afforded to Emirati women, making use of the established communications channels to share purposeful messages that reflect the leading role Emirati women have come to assume, allowing them to set an inspiring example in political participation and parliamentary involvement.