UAE – Ethiopia Discuss Political Empowerment of Women through Parliaments

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Addis Ababa June 29/2022/ENA/ The efforts of the United Arab Emirates and Ethiopia governments in empowering women politically through parliament, were highlighted at a webinar organized by the UAE Embassy in Addis Ababa.

The particular focus of the webinar, held under the theme “Women in Parliament: Perspectives from the UAE & Ethiopia”, was to exchange experiences between the two countries in the domain of women’s political empowerment and leadership, as well as their respective efforts in enhancing the role and representation of women in political life.

Within this framework, Deputy Speaker of the House of Federation, Zahra Humed, shared that the Ethiopian government is actively working towards ensuring equal opportunities for the participation of women in parliament.

She further added that, “A number of measures are being taken to increase women representation in the two houses of the Parliament, which is currently less than 50 percent including the enacting of additional laws aimed at capacitating parliamentary women and preparing young women for parliament.”

Moreover, in view of the strong and successful relationship between the UAE and Ethiopia, the Deputy Speaker stated that Ethiopia can learn from UAE’s parliamentary experience, and that the leadership of the two houses of the parliament are looking forward to furthering the parliamentary relations between the two countries.  

Head of Political, Economic, and Media Affairs at the UAE Embassy in Addis Ababa,Talal Al Azeezi, on his behalf said that the extensive support demonstrated by UAE leadership in empowering Emirati women in the domain of politics.

 “The decision of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, late President of the UAE, in 2019, to raise the percentage of women’s representation in the National Federal Council (UAE Parliament) to 50 percent has ensured the position of the UAE among the  four countries globally with a high percentage of women in national parliaments.”

He further highlighted that expanding the participation of women enables them to actively contribute to politically enhancing the role of women nationally and internationally, which is crucial in pushing forward important issues related to women’s rights.

Hence, the empowerment of women is an area that is of the utmost importance to both the UAE and Ethiopia, and is a priority agenda in regards to the growing bilateral cooperation, particularly through the exchange of parliamentary experiences and the provision of various forms of support on issues of common interest during engagements in regional and international parliamentary forums, he added.

Other speakers present at the webinar include Dr. Mesrak Mekonnen, Secretary General of the House of People’s Representative (HoPR) and Ms. Keymiya Jundi, Chairwoman of Women Caucus at the House.

Both speakers presented the history of women in the Ethiopian Parliament, the efforts of HoPR in ensuring the empowerment of women in the national sphere, as well as the role of the Women Caucus. Other guests include representatives of governmental organizations, civil society, and media representatives.