UAE Council applauds first female Speaker

‘Giant step for Emirati women’ as Al Qubaisi steps in for Al Murr - making her the first woman to have ever done so in UAE parliamentary life.

ABU DHABI // At 9am yesterday, Dr Amal Al Qubaisi became the first woman to take the chair as Speaker of the FNC.

It was, the member from Abu Dhabi said, a “dream come true”.

“I am lucky,” said Dr Al Qubaisi, who has been a deputy speaker since 2011 but has never before had to step into Mohammed Al Murr’s shoes.

But yesterday Mr Al Murr was unable to attend and she finally had her chance in what she described as a significant moment for Emirati women.

“With the support that the leaders give, an Emirati woman is now able to reach and prove herself in any field,” Dr Al Qubaisi said.

“I feel proud and grateful that I am an Emirati woman in a country where a woman is shown respect and is trusted.”

She was calm and objective throughout the session, showing no signs of nerves in her role.

Dr Al Qubaisi said the UAE was always the first to send a message that women could take an active role in running the country.

“Looking at the achievements of the country,” she said. “Our example should be followed.”

Fellow FNC member Noura Al Kaabi, also from Abu Dhabi, hailed it as a milestone in UAE politics. “She was the first woman to be elected to the council,” Ms Al Kaabi said. “And to have her be the first woman to be the first deputy speaker and to lead today’s session is something that did not come by chance.”

Ms Al Kaabi said that if a woman was determined enough, nothing would stop her from accomplishing her goals.

“It’s a beautiful day,” she said.