ABU DHABI // Emirati women have expressed their disappointment that only one female candidate was elected to the Federal National Council.
Naama Al Sharhan, from Ras Al Khaimah, was the only women out of 78 candidates to succeed by picking up 1,004 votes.
Asma Al Ali, 26, from Ajman, said she hoped many more women would make it on to the council.
“I was shocked, I expected at least one woman from each emirate,” she said. “Every emirate should have one woman so they will follow-up on issues relating to mothers and children.”
Many women did not want to be “in the spotlight”, which hurt their campaigns “because people didn’t know who they were”, Ms Al Ali said.
Elyazia Al Mansouri, 26, from Abu Dhabi, said that many of the unsuccessful women’s campaigns had not resonated with the public because voters did not really get a chance to understand them.
“There wasn’t much publicity [for the women], no display, just pictures,” she said.
“Women in general did not interact with the public as much as the men.
“They did not have an active role.
“The winner, Saeed Al Remeithi, he did not have a lot of publicity.
“However, he was very popular on social media, which I see as a smart way of approaching the voters.”
Another voter, Aisha, 30, from Dubai, said she was also shocked that there had been only one women to win a seat.
“I was very surprised, there were many candidates,” she said.
“Many of them had good plans, especially Dr Shaikha Al Ari.
“I think we need more women in the council because they can discuss laws on employment and maternity leave – something I am sure a male, even though he could be a hard worker, will not understand.”
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(via The National)