A woman was elected Wednesday as the first female to lead the UAE’s Federal National Council, the half-elected parliament that serves as an advisory body, state news agency WAM reported.
Amal Al-Qubaisi, previously FNC deputy speaker, was elected as speaker after the new council convened following October polls.
Local media said she was not challenged for the post.
Eight woman in total were appointed as members of the 40-seat council, which has a purely advisory role and whose seats are shared equally between elected and appointed members.
This year, 224,000 people had the right to vote out of a citizen population of just under one million. That compared with 129,000 in 2011 and just 6,000 in the UAE’s first election in 2006.
The electoral roll is drawn up by the rulers of the seven sheikhdoms that make up the United Arab Emirates, who also appoint the remaining FNC members.
Women in the UAE occupy top positions, including ministerial portfolios and high executive posts in the public sector.