The National Election Committee (NEC) has stated that women and youth have the opportunity to make a strong impact in this year’s Federal National Council elections.
Women account for 46 per cent of the total members of the Electoral College announced by NEC ahead of the elections, while 35 per cent of the members are below the age of 30.
Among the 129,274 Electoral College members named from all the seven emirates, 59,991 are women and 69,283 are men.
The share of women members in each emirate is as follows: 52 per cent in Abu Dhabi, 47 per cent in Dubai, 48 per cent Sharjah, 39 per cent in Ajman, 33 per cent in Umm Al Quwain, 38 per cent in Ras Al Khaimah, and 30 per cent in Fujairah.
Commenting on the strong presence of women, Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs and Chairman of the NEC, said: "Opening the door wide for women to participate in FNC elections confirms the UAE's commitment to treating all citizens equally, irrespective of their gender or any other differences and shows that deciding factor is the person’s contribution to the UAE and its people".
"Women represent half of the UAE society and they are the ones best able to understand and discuss issues concerning women and other groups. The political participation of women is a necessity, and not a luxury, which will lay strong foundations for an open and advanced society, well-aligned with our culture and history," he added.
He further stated: "The UAE stands first in empowering women in the Middle East and North Africa where working women represent 59 per cent of the total public sector workforce, according to a study by the United Nations. More than 22 per cent of the members in the previous Federal National Council were women and the UAE Cabinet already has four women ministers."
Commenting on the participation of the youth, he said: "Young people constitute a fundamental pillar of development in the UAE society. They are an important segment and it is imperative to involve and encourage them to be part of our political life. They are also our link with future generations and essential elements in the sustainable progress and development of the UAE.”
"The UAE has given due prominence to the younger generations by giving people over the age of 21 years the right to vote and those over 25 years of age the right to contest the elections. It has provided many young Emiratis the opportunity to be part of the decision-making process in the country as many of them hold leadership positions at the federal and local levels," he explained.
The National Election Committee announced the Electoral College on the July 11, 2011.
Citizens can check for their names in the Electoral College on www.uaenec.ae or through the NEC's call centre 60056661.
About the National Election Committee:
The National Election Committee (NEC) was established in February 2011 by a Decision of the UAE Supreme Council to exercise all powers necessary to oversee the election of representatives from the seven emirates in the country to the Federal National Council (FNC).
The NEC’s terms of reference include the general framework of the electoral process and overall supervision of the conduct of the elections.
The NEC will also support outreach and education efforts relating to the elections, issue guidelines on the electoral process and identify polling stations in each emirate.
In addition, the NEC is authorised to adopt procedures to form the legal framework for elections, as well as to decide on the list of voters and day of the election.
The National Election Committee is chaired by the Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs. Other members include the Minister of Justice; Minister of Education; Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development; Secretary-General of the Ministry of Presidential Affairs; representative from the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs; Undersecretary of the Ministry of the Interior; Undersecretary of the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs; Director General of Emirates Identity Authority and the Deputy Assistant Undersecretary of Federal National Council Affairs in the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs.
The NEC also has three public figures chosen by the Chairman.