United Arab Emirates (United Arab Emirates) has a Unicameral parliament with legislated quotas for the single/lower house. 20 of 40 (50%) seats in the Majlis Watani Itihadi / Federal National Council are held by women.
At a glance
Structure of Parliament: Unicameral
Are there legislated quotas...
- For the Single/Lower House? Yes
- For the Sub-National Level? No
Are there voluntary quotas...
- Adopted by political parties?
Is there additional information?...
Last updated: May 31, 2022
Majlis Watani Itihadi / Federal National Council
|Electoral System||No direct elections|
|Quota Type||Reserved seats|
|Election details||IDEA Voter Turnout - IPU Parline|
|Quota type: Reserved seats||Electoral law||
President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has issued the Presidential Resolution No. (1) of 2019 towards raising women’s representation in the Federal National Council (FNC) to 50 per cent with effect from the upcoming legislative cycle. The Presidential Resolution comprises three main articles. Article one states that women must account for no less than 50 per cent of the total representatives of each emirate in FNC (National Elections Committee, 2019).
|Legal sanctions for non-compliance||No data available|
|Rank order/placement rules||No data available|
|Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties related to gender equality among candidates?||No data available|
|Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties?||No data available|
From 2019, the 2019 Presidential Decree No. (1) has established a mandatory quota of 50%. 50% of the seats in the Parliament are now hold by women.
The inclusion has produced the increasement from 7 to 20 women in the National Parliament. The distribution of the 20 seats was fulfilled by: 7 women filled by elected candidates and 13 women appointed.
"Women comprise 50% of the Federal National Council (FNC), the UAE’s consultative parliamentary body. According to the IMF World Competitiveness Yearbook 2020, the UAE ranked first in the female parliamentary representation index". "n November 2015, Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi was appointed President of the FNC, making her the first woman in the region to lead a national assembly. She served in the position until 2019. Dr. Al Qubaisi had previously made history in 2006 as the first elected female to the FNC and in 2011 was appointed deputy speaker of the FNC. In October 2008, the first female judge was sworn in. Four women have been appointed as judges, two as public prosecutors and 17 as assistant public prosecutors and marriage officials. In March 2019, two female judges were appointed to the Federal Judiciary (link is external) for the first time. Women make up 20% of the diplomatic corps, and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has appointed seven Emirati women as ambassadors to represent the country internationally" (UAE Embassy in Washington DC, 2021).
- AEU (2018): Sheikh Khalifa: UAE's Federal National Council to be 50 per cent women
- Women in parliament: 1995-2020
- Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Washington DC, "Women in the UAE". Accessed March 2021
- Abdulkadir, R. & Müller, H. (2020). 'The Politics of Women Empowerment: Female Leaders in the UAE¨'. Hawwa.
- See the latest updates on United Arab Emirates on iKNOW Politics
- Human Rights Watch [HRW]. (2021). Submission to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women Review of United Arab Emirates: Periodic report for the 80th Pre-Session February 2021.