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Drafting a New Story: Women's Rights in the Middle East

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Originally published in Khaleej Times

October 31, 2010

TUNIS — Member of the UAE’s National Federal Council (FNC) Dr Amal Al Qubaisi stressed that the UAE sets an example in women empowerment and participation in sustainable development.

Dr Amal further stressed that the UAE leadership believes that encouraging women’s access to all spheres of development is the first step on the way to social equality which enables women to achieve their full potential in this regard.

Dr Amal remarks came in a paper on ‘Arab Women and Political Development’ presented at the 3rdconference of the Arab Women Organization, in Tunisia.

She noted that UAE women, who for the first time were able to run for election to the FNC in 2006, played an enormously impressive role and demonstrated their ability to successfully move into the national
political arena.

This, she added, has been reaffirmed by their active and diligent contribution to FNC sessions and legislative debates over the past year since the elections.

Encouraging the UAE woman to achieve their full potential is part of the country’s core national strategy, she said adding that the growth of women’s participation in parliaments worldwide is still notably low while in the UAE, a country that recently initiated an electoral parliamentary process, elections were held in 2006 and included women as both voters and candidates for the first time.

The FNC members said this historical juncture, which had its roots in the initiatives of the late founding father Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, represented fresh efforts to closing the gender gap, and strengthening the role of women in the Federal National Council.

Dr Amal further noted efforts by Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union (GWU), and Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) to open the doors for UAE and Arab women to education, work and sustainable development. —


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