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Emirati women have outpaced their counterparts in many countries around the world while the UAE now enjoys some of the highest rates of women’s empowerment globally. Photo for FNC session for illustrative purpose only

Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs (MFNCA) organised a lecture titled ‘Women’s Role in the Federal National Council’ that highlighted the notable contributions Emirati women have made towards advancing the parliamentary process in the UAE.

The lecture was held in collaboration with Majlis Abu Dhabi at the Citizens and Community Affairs Office of the Presidential Court, Featuring Ahlam Al Lamki, head of the Research and Development Department at the General Women’s Union (GWU), the session highlighted the achievements Emirati women have made, outpacing their counterparts in many countries around the world, where the UAE now enjoys some of the highest rates of women’s empowerment globally.

Al Lamki called on those wishing to run for FNC membership in the upcoming elections to immediately get to work on developing themselves and planning their electoral campaigns in order to win seats in the Council.

Top priority

“Empowering women is a top priority for the UAE’s wise leadership and for Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, ‘Mother of the Nation’,” noted Al Lamki at the lecture hosted by the Khalid bin Tanaf Al Menhali Majlis in Baniyas in Abu Dhabi.

“The leadership has dedicated all necessary resources and capabilities that allow women to play their full role in society, help achieve the UAE’s vision for its Centennial, and position themselves as a key pillar in the UAE’s process of development and advancement across all sectors in the next 50 years.”

Promoting political skills

Al Lamki went on to explain that the initiatives launched by the GWU, foremost of which being the Fatima Bint Mubarak Programme for Building Women’s Political Skills, aim to enhance the culture of political participation among women, and prepare them to actively participate in advancing parliamentary work in the UAE by becoming FNC members and taking part in all discussions in the Council, where they can offer recommendations to find the best solutions for all issues facing the people of the UAE.

“The General Women’s Union has formed a network of strategic partnerships, through which we work to advance women’s status, support them, and provide them with everything they need to actively contribute towards shaping a bright future for the UAE and enhance performance across all vital sectors that most affect to people’s lives,” she asserted.

Al Lamki applauded the strategic partnership between the GWU and the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs that set the stage for joint action towards enhancing women’s political awareness, which, in turn, led to their active participation in parliamentary work and in the FNC elections both as voters and as candidates.

“The process of empowering the Federal National Council strengthened the political role of Emirati women, who actively participated in parliamentary work,” she added. “Emirati women today have outpaced their peers around the world, developed extensive parliamentary expertise, and left their mark on the sector. This was made possible by the constant empowerment they receive from the leadership, and particularly by the Decision issued by the late Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to allocate half of all FNC seats to women.”

Call for action

“With that in mind, Emirati women today are more capable of competing to win seats in the Federal National Council,” Al Lamki said. “Those who wish to run for FNC membership must immediately begin developing their capabilities and skills, planning for their electoral campaigns, and developing programmes to make the desired impression on members of the electoral college and win their votes. With their experience and skills, they are more capable than ever to propose plans that meet the aspirations and needs of community members.”

The lecture was organised as part of the fifth session of the ‘Neighbourhood Councils’ initiative, launched by the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs to help foster a culture of political participation among UAE citizens.