When the new Federal National Council (FNC) gathers in Abu Dhabi following direct elections in October, it will mark a milestone that is unique in terms of representation — it will comprise 50 per cent men and 50 per cent women in its make-up. In parliamentary processes, it’s an achievement that is only emulated practically in Rwanda, while other nations have pledged to reaching that gender-equal platform in their respective electoral processes. Here, in the UAE, 20 of the 40 FNC members will be women, keeping in line with the decision of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nayhan.
For observers, this gender-equality in the advisory chamber should come as little surprise — from the very first days, the equal role and importance of both sexes in building the nation was emphasised again and again by the words and actions of the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and our “Mother of the Nation,” Her Highness Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak. They stressed that peace and stability are not possible without providing equal opportunities for both.
Looking at the UAE Cabinet, governmental organisations and the fields of academic research, science, biotechnology, technology, pharmaceuticals and medical sciences, we find women playing vital roles in shaping this nation’s future.
It’s no surprise then that women have enjoyed an equal role in building this nation, leading it on a path of economic growth and prosperity, and putting it at the vanguard when it comes to gender equality, social progress and programmes and in promoting the values of tolerance. Looking at the UAE Cabinet, governmental organisations and the fields of academic research, science, biotechnology, technology, pharmaceuticals and medical sciences, we can find women playing vital roles in shaping this nation’s future. While other nations across this region have struggled with the concept of equality of the sexes, here in the UAE it has become a significant factor in this young nation’s rise across every indicator of social advancement or economic growth
At the FNC itself, Amal Al Qubaisi is the first female leader of a national assembly in the region. She has been Speaker of the FNC since the 2015, and was the first woman to chair a session of any Arab national assembly as far back as 2011 when she was the Deputy Speaker.
Indeed, when it comes to representing the UAE at the United Nations, it needs to be remembered that Ambassador Lana Zaki Nussaibah has served as permanent envoy since September 2013, and currently serves as the Co-Chair for negotiations of reforming the Security Council itself. All are indeed further evidence of the UAE empowering women at every level.