ABU DHABI // Veteran member Ali Jassim has long been a supporter of women’s rights.
When amendments were made to the constitution in 2005 allowing women to join the FNC, Mr Jassim showed his full support.
He has taken part in several forums to endorse women, sharing tips on how to win elections and describing what their future would entail should they join the council.
As a member of the human rights committee, Mr Jassim proposed a new law to define and guarantee women’s rights earlier this year. He said such a law would be a natural progression from the Child Rights law passed this year.
“The law would mainly focus on domestic violence against women and touch on a lot of other aspects related to women. This is what we want,” he said. “There is a penal code for matters of violence against women, but no one unified reference of all women’s rights. Recently the UAE has drawn up so many laws in various fields, but this is one field we want to be distinguished in.”
Having women on the council introduced him and his counterparts to issues they might not have thought of before, including maternity leave, retirement age, violence against women and health services.
“Over the years, debating these issues with the Government to secure greater maternity leave or early retirement age gave us insight into what the Government’s viewpoint is,” Mr Jassim said.
“Yes, they have a point, but we do, too – including the small number of locals in the country and the need for women to take care of their children and be less reliant on maids.”