Abu Dhabi, May 1, 2019 – The Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs (MFNCA) organised a panel discussion entitled “Political Empowerment for Women” in collaboration with the General Women’s Union to support Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak’s 50:50 campaign to empower women, promote a culture of political participation among them, and encourage their involvement in the upcoming elections as candidates, voters, and contributors to the comprehensive sustainable development of the UAE.
Held at the General Women’s Union’s Abu Dhabi headquarters, the session featured FNC members H.E. Azza Sulaiman, and H.E. Naima Al Sharhan, in addition to H.E. Dr Saeed Mohammed Al-Ghafli, Assistant Undersecretary for Federal National Council Affairs at the MFNCA. The event shed light on the positive effects of Emirati women’s participation in political life and the sustainable development taking place across the country.
MFNCA Undersecretary H.E. Tariq Hilal Lootah said: “Empowering Emirati women is top priority for the UAE’s wise leadership, who’s dedicated to providing all necessary resources and support for women to play a leading role in society, which is also a cause of great interest for Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, President of the General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation, and President of Supreme Council For Motherhood And Childhood.”
“The Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs is committed to supporting H.H. Sheikha Fatima’s 50:50 campaign for women’s political empowerment and spreading awareness among Emirati women,” H.E. Lootah added. “We forge strategic partnerships with all stakeholders across the UAE to support our efforts to spread the culture of political participation among all members and segments of the community, especially Emirati women, who we consider to be a major player in strengthening the UAE’s leading position on global competitiveness indexes.”
For her part, Noura Al Suwaidi, Director of the General Women’s Union, said that Emirati women are fully qualified to play a major role in all sectors, thanks to the support they’ve consistently received from the UAE’s wise leadership, as well as the attention and efforts H.H. Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak to empower women in all fields.
Al Suwaidi went on to note that women in the UAE are now ready to be engaged in political, economic, or any other type of activity. “They have proven themselves in a multitude of positions and achieved amazing results,” she said. “Women have a significant presence and representation in the Federal National Council, and are now prepared to fulfil their duty in the Council following the leadership’s announcement that the female quota in the FNC will be increased to 50 per cent.”
During the panel discussion, FNC Member H.E. Azza Sulaiman tackled various topics, highlighting what it means to have the UAE’s wise leadership put its faith in Emirati women, and noting that the UAE has come to lead the global effort to empower women in parliament, where the Emirates increased the female quota in its Federal National Council to 50 per cent. H.E. relayed the successive milestones along the women’s empowerment journey that led to this goal, highlighting the upcoming FNC elections as an opportunity to play a part in building the UAE’s future, urging the youth to take advantage of it, and noting current FNC members’ role in transferring their knowledge and expertise to young aspiring candidates.
Meanwhile, H.E. Naima Al Sharhan, FNC Member, spoke of her experience in the Council, noting that her decision to run for a seat was spur-of-the-moment and stemmed from her passion for serving the country. “My winning the election demonstrated the great support women in the UAE enjoy, particularly from the leadership,” H.E. said.
“In line with these empowerment efforts, H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak – ‘The Mother of the Nation’ – launched National Strategy to Empower Emirati Women 2015-2021 to provide a better life for women, making them feel empowered, pioneering, and engaged in all sustainable development fields, in addition to establishing a legislative and institutional framework that supports women and meets the highest international standards in that regard,” H.E. added.
Meanwhile, H.E. Dr Al Ghafli said: “Emirati women have made remarkable achievements, driven by the support and care of the UAE’s wise leadership. They have proven their worth, assuming senior leadership positions in various governmental bodies and institutions, including the Federal National Council.
“The Political Empowerment Programme of the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, offered a comprehensive national plan of action, based on a gradual approach that caters to the singularities and traits of UAE society. It promotes the concept of Shura to empower various segments of society, including women, who make up half of the community,” H.E. Dr Al Ghafli concluded.
This lecture is part of the efforts undertaken by the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs to promote a culture of political participation and raise political awareness among all segments of the community, urging them to actively participate in the comprehensive and sustainable development of the UAE in all sectors.