On International Women’s Day, UAE has many milestones to celebrate in gender equality
In another parliamentary unprecedented milestone at local and Arab levels, Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi was elected Speaker of the Federal National Council (FNC) for the 16th Legislative Chapter, and became the first woman to hold the position in any Arab national parliament. She had previously made history in 2006 when she became the first elected female to the FNC, and in 2011 was appointed Deputy Speaker of the body.
The election of Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi as the first ever woman Speaker of the United Arab Emirates Parliament has been warmly welcomed by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) as a breakthrough, not only for the Gulf State, but also for the Arab world as a whole.
"I am personally delighted by Dr. Al Qubaisi’s election, having known and worked with her for several years," said IPU Secretary-General, Martin Chungong. "Breaking the parliamentary glass ceiling in the UAE marks a particularly important milestone that can only resonate across the region and inspire other countries and other women MPs," he added.
The UAE places great importance on the contribution of women to the diplomatic corps, having opened the doors for Emirati women to hold positions as diplomats in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to UN, became the first female Ambassador to hold the high-profile position. The move was a reflection of the increasingly prominent role played by Emirati women in UAE society.
The number of Emirati women in the diplomatic and consular corps at the Ministry headquarters is now 175, in addition to 42 women working in the diplomatic corps at UAE missions abroad.
There are currently four women ambassadors in the diplomatic corps at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, representing the nation in Spain, Montenegro, the Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the UN, and a Consul-General in Milan.