The Changing Role of Women in Qatar

Just a few weeks ago Qatar held the second “Qatar International Business Women’s Forum” organised by The Qatar Business Womens Forum, the two day conference drew over 600 women from across the globe. The conference was opened by HE Deputy Prime Minister and Chief of the Emiri Diwan Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah opened the Second Qatar International Business Women Forum. HE Al Attiyah expressed his confidence that Arab women, having contributed towards the economic progress of Arab economy, would have a greater role to play in the coming stage since they have the capabilities to lead institutions, corporations, take strategic decisions, ensure its implementation and achieve their goals.

This message was continued by Dr Ibrahim of the General Secretariat for Development Planning, where he outlined that in the Qatar National Development Strategy there will be specific goals to advance women. Qatar women can look forward to initiatives aimed at providing them with high quality training, and the removal of constraints inhibiting their contribution in decision making and in the workforce.

Having worked for more family friendly working practices in the UK, I am personally encouraged to hear that Qatar is looking at the issues of:

  • long hours
  • work placed nurseries
  • gender sensitised legislation
  • the promotion of women in business

In 2009 only 3% of women are in leadership roles but the target is to have increased this figure to 30% by 2016.

Qatar is changing in many ways, and as an ex-pat I feel we have an obligation to respect the desire for change, but also the desire to retain a highly respected and valued culture. On this site there are many posts mentioning the various women’s network and training events which seek to support the empowerment of women in a wide range of cultures and backgrounds.

As Qatar moves towards the realisation of it’s 2030 Vision, there is no doubt that the role of women will be critical to its success.

For further information on Qatar’s National Development Strategy you can access the website here.

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