Women will occupy 50 per cent seats of the UAE's Federal National Council (FNC) in next year's elections. The President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has directed the authorities concerned to double women representation in the FNC from the current 22.5 per cent.
The Presidential directive aims to rank the UAE among the top worldwide when it comes to representation of women in parliament. It is expected to propel the UAE to the fourth position globally on the list in this regard compiled by the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Only two countries have 50 per cent or more women in parliament - Rwanda (61.3 per cent) and Bolivia (53.1 per cent).
The step reflects the country's future approach aimed at achieving "full empowerment" of Emirati women and stresses their pioneering and effective role in all vital sectors of the UAE.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said the decision is a "great leap forward in cementing the legislative and parliamentary role of women in our nation's development". "Women are half of our society: they should be represented as such," he tweeted.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, congratulated Emirati women on the announcement. "This is an additional step to enhance woman's role and contribution in making national decisions. She is a partner and supporter of our journey of development. She has proven her relevance in different positions, we wish her great success."
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