Abu Dhabi: The IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2020 was announced on June 19. The Emirates ranked first in the world on the Female Parliamentary Representation Index.
Abdul Rahman bin Mohammad bin Nasser Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, and Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs shared the details through official social media accounts yesterday.
“The decision was a historic milestone that the UAE succeeded in accomplishing ahead of many countries around the world. It reiterates the fact that Emirati women have what it takes to be part of the decision-making process, and have a lot to add to the debate around the issues that matter most to the UAE’s citizens, as well as any laws or legislation to be issued in the future,” he stated.
This achievement comes as international recognition and celebration of the decision by UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to grant women half the seats in the Federal National Council.
The President had issued the Presidential Resolution No. (1) of 2019 towards raising women’s representation in the Federal National Council (FNC) to 50 percent with effect from the upcoming legislative cycle of 2019. This historic resolution was marked as a significant milestone in the UAE’s political development journey.
It was also an important step within the Political Empowerment Programme that His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced in 2005.
“The National Elections Committee set procedures to regulate the operations of the committee’s secretariat, represented by the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs. The objective was to ensure the full implementation of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa’s decision in the FNC Elections of 2019, where 180 of them contested for seats in the Council, accounting for more than 36 percent of all candidates,” Al Owais continued, revealing that seven female candidates won seats in the election.
Al Owais also shed light on the role of Emirati women in serving their country, where they became a voice for the family and the community through their membership in the FNC.
“Emirati women have a long and impressive track record in parliamentary activities, heading several permanent and temporary committees, taking part in conferences around the region and the world, and rising to the post of First Deputy Speaker of the Council, before setting a regional precedent when a woman assumed the role of Speaker of the Council for the 16th Legislative Chapter,” he said.
Through a gradual approach, the program launched by the President aimed to
- boost citizen engagement in public life
- enhance FNC’s role as a support entity of the executive branch
- help the Council connect with people’s issues and concerns
- promote the principles of shura (consultation)
- proactive participation.
Al Owais further applauded the efforts that went into implementing the UAE leadership’s vision through plans and programmes that eventually propelled the UAE to the first place in 23 indexes in the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2020. “This is an international acknowledgement of the UAE’s progress which began from its foundation by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan,” he said.
He also asserted that the UAE continues to consolidate its competitiveness and leadership on a global scale, led by the foresight of its wise leadership as it moves to accomplish the country’s vision for its centennial anniversary.
This achievement of the UAE’s parliament is now considered as a role model for other modern parliaments around the world, especially in terms of women’s political empowerment.