FNC elections an ideal opportunity for UAE women, says Gargash
His Excellency Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Minister of State for Federal National Council (FNC) Affairs and Chairman of the National Election Committee (NEC), has stated that UAE women have the perfect opportunity to win in the FNC elections this year, since they represent 46% of the voters in the Electoral College.
"Over the years, Emirati women have shown exceptional efficiency in various positions and are now being invited to make the most of their significant presence in the Electoral College by actively participating in the elections to choose the most capable candidates to be part of the Federal National Council,” Gargash said during a lecture at the General Women's Union in Abu Dhabi today.
"Women's empowerment has been ongoing in the UAE for many years with strong support from His Highness late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, which is being continued by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE. Women have benefitted from this support in social, economic, educational and other sectors. Today they are on the threshold of political empowerment, which depends on their participation in the elections on September 24, 2011” Gargash added.
“The UAE has always been keen to empower women and women represent 59% of the total workforce in the government. In the previous FNC, 22.5% of the members were women and there are now four women as ministers in the federal government. According to a study issued by the United Nations, the UAE leads the Middle East and North Africa region in women empowerment,” His Excellency continued.
"The UAE is developing in all fields, including promotion of political participation and empowerment of the Federal National Council. The leadership has adopted a gradual process of enhancing political participation while building on and strengthening the country’s achievements. The UAE has made remarkable achievements on a global level across various sectors and we must preserve them,” explained Gargash.
"Expanding the Electoral College this year itself is a strong indicator of the leadership's commitment to promote political participation. Voters in the UAE must support this step and prove their commitment to developing an efficient political programme in UAE,” added Gargash.
Federal National Council
The Federal National Council (FNC) is the legislature of the United Arab Emirates.
The Council has 40 members with advisory tasks rather than legislative power. Twenty members are elected by the 6,689 members of the Electoral College; the other 20 are nominated by their respective emirates.
The Federal National Council was formed under the Provisional Constitution of the United Arab Emirates in 1971 as a permanent component of the country's governing structure, which also includes the Supreme Council, President, Cabinet and Judiciary.