Abu Dhabi to host second GCC Conference of Women Parliamentarians

ABU DHABI - The Federal National Council (FNC), in cooperation with Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU), will host in Abu Dhabi the second regional conference of woman parliamentarians and decision makers in the GCC countries from October 30-31. The first conference was held in Bahrain last year.

By (Wam)

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Published: Tue 23 Oct 2007, 8:59 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:52 AM

Entitled “Women making a difference in the Parliament”, the forum is organised under the patronage of HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairperson of Arab Woman Organization (AWO), and it will examine the role and input of women legislators and the mechanisms to promote women?s inclusion in parliament.

The conference will serve as a platform to exchange best practices on mainstreaming gender in parliament, strengthen women’s knowledge of political processes; promote an exchange of experience between women from similar cultural and political backgrounds; maintain visibility on the question of women in politics, and encourage continuous participation of women in the political arena.

The event also seeks to support and increase the number of women in parliamentary institutions and tackle the challenge in strengthening women legislators? input in parliamentary work. The high profile forum is expected to initiate constructive debates that will shape the future of women’s role in the region.

Women parliamentarians and decision makers from the GCC will participate in the conference, in addition to a delegation from Yemen who will be invited to the conference as observers.

Abdul Aziz Abduallah Al Ghurair, Chairman of the Federal National Council, said: ''The conference aims to highlight the increasingly vital role played by women in the Gulf, specifically as parliamentarians and decision makers. It will seek to hone their political and parliamentary working skills through the exchange of knowledge and experience.

”Holding a conference of this stature and significance in Abu Dhabi indicates the major progress achieved by women in the GCC countries, especially as parliamentarians. In addition, the conference will also highlight the active role played by the GCC women in the region’s dynamic economic, political and social arena.” According to IPU, a worldwide organisation of parliamentarians, the average number of women in parliament in the Arab world has risen by two percentage points, from 7 per cent in January 2006 to 9 per cent in January 2007. However, this is far from the world average of 17 per cent, bearing in mind that the average of women MPs in the UAE has exceeded the world average to reach around 23%.

Anders B. Johnsson, Secretary General of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) said: “We are eagerly looking forward to the key conference in Abu Dhabi. This event is a reflection of the significant changes and progress that have taken place in the region and, in particular, the UAE, where women have made rapid strides in political life.

”The presence of women in the UAE Cabinet and the FNC provides further implication to the Abu Dhabi conference. We are privileged to hold this forum in partnership with the FNC, and we look forward to a constructive debate.”

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