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...

Gender Equality in Qatar: Good Steps, But More Needs to Be Done

By on Dec 24, 2013 in Women in the Middle East | 0 comments

Happy Holidays! Here’s my gift to all my readers: my latest opinion piece on gender equality in Qatar, published by JustHere.qa. An excerpt: Qatar is doing many things right. The Qatar National Development Strategy 2011-2016 states women’s empowerment as a key developmental objective. It lists many goals for its citizen women, including increasing the number of Qatari women in the workforce, increasing leadership positions for them, and even “reducing the stereotyping of women’s roles and responsibilities.” But if true equality for women is to be achieved in Qatar, much needs to be done. A patriarchal mindset is still the norm here. When I have reported on women’s issues here in the past and wanted to interview men, I was warned by Qatari colleagues not to use “bad” terms such as feminism and women’s empowerment because the interviewees would think I was advocating taking power...