CEDAW Review: Qatari Women Demand Their Rights

By on Mar 5, 2014 in Women in the Middle East | 0 comments

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) reviewed Qatar on its progress advancing women’s rights in the country at the organization’s 57th session on Feb. 13, 2014. Qatar ratified the CEDAW agreement in 2009, but as the discussions at the latest session showed, the country continues to fall short in a number of spheres. Qatari pundit Nofe Al Suwaidi wrote a great summary of the CEDAW session and its findings for Justhere.qa. I encourage you to read it. Some of the areas in which Qatari women continue to suffer discrimination: Qatari woman still cannot automatically pass on citizenship to their children. Qatar still has no law on domestic violence, which is scary considering that some 16% of men and 7% of women in Qatar believe wife-beating is justified in certain cases. And apparently 20% of men 15-24 years old agree. Women continue to get...

Why Many Qatari Women Won’t Pursue Media Careers

By on Dec 18, 2013 in Women in the Middle East | 0 comments

For the past two years, I’ve been working diligently on a story about the Qatari cultural taboos and traditions that prevent many women here from showing their faces in the media, even if they don’t wear a niqab in every day life. That means refusing to appear in photos or video reports even for positive news stories, or even posting a profile picture on Facebook. This piece was just published by Chime For Change, which is edited by renowned journalist Mariane Pearl. In it, I explore how this taboo impacts gender equality in the country. Here’s an excerpt: The stigma against women appearing in visual media is “a tradition that has no basis either in Islam or in any logic,” said Amal Al-Malki, the only Qatari professor at Education City, a campus run by Qatar Foundation that is home to several American universities. She teaches literature and Islamic feminism and has...