Dr Amal Al Qubaisi Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi — 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 three legislative chapters.

The FNC membership period, which is known as a legislative chapter, begins from the date of its first meeting and lasts four years.

Several female FNC members stressed that Emirati Women’s Day, being celebrated on Tuesday, is an opportunity to highlight, monitor and consolidate the achievements of Emirati women and reinforce their legislative presence.

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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.

Emirati women have received the full support of the wise leadership since the establishment of the Union on 2 December, 1971, as the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan was keen to support women, empower them and help them overcome obstacles to their development, enabling them to occupy the highest positions.

This vision is rooted in the approach and methodology of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who supported Emirati women by launching the “Empowerment Programme” in 2005, the first such policy to be adopted by the FNC.

The female members of the FNC congratulated Her Highness Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairperson of the General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation and Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, on the occasion of Emirati Women’s Day.

They also praised Shaikha Fatima’s initiatives that aim to empower Emirati women, support their achievements, and promote their overall success in ministerial, diplomatic and parliamentary positions.

FNC members Alia Al Jassem, Aisha Bin Samnoa and Aisha Rashid thanked the UAE leaders and Shaikha Fatima, the ‘Mother of the UAE’, for supporting Emirati women in their achieving successes.

They also highlighted the importance of the role of parliaments in promoting and reinforcing the culture of peace and tolerance, and strengthening international cooperation and solidarity, under the framework of parliamentary work through the FNC’s internal committees, or through the FNC parliamentary division participating in regional and international parliamentary meetings.

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 Al Qubaisi 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 from the country’s emirates. 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.