UAE’s first woman Speaker of Parliament a breakthrough for Arab world

 Geneva, 20 November 2015
The election of Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi as the first ever woman Speaker of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) 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.
Dr. Al Qubaisi, a former Deputy Speaker of the Federal National Council and government minister, is a trailblazer for the region too. She is the first ever woman Speaker of an Arab national parliament.
A parliamentarian since 2006, Dr. Al Qubaisi has long been active within IPU and has through this work achieved an international presence. She has been particularly active on gender and youth issues. Her engagement on youth participation at IPU contributed to the creation of IPU’s Forum of Young Parliamentarians, a unique body that provides youth perspectives in international political decision-making.
 “I am personally delighted by Dr. Al Qubaisi’s election, having known and worked with her for several years,” says IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong. “The smashing of 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 adds.
The election of Dr. Al Qubaisi brings the number of women Speakers in the world to 47. They account for 17.2 per cent of the 273 Speakers of Parliament globally, according to IPU data.