Qatar: Promoting Women Empowerment, Developing Society
Long known for social discrimination and gender biases, the GCC states are witnessing the latest buzzword- Women Empowerment. GCC is emerging as a pioneer in economic empowerment for women with Qatar leading in women’s employment rate in the Arab countries. According to the source, the annual turnover of businesses managed by women in the GCC region is estimated to be around USD 5billion.
Qatar, a country rich in natural resources and located in the Arabian Gulf, offers high quality of life to its citizens. Instead of relying on its resources solely for its economic growth, the country is dedicated to enhancing its production efficiency, diversify its industries, and strengthen the private sector to offer tremendous opportunities to the job seekers.
Women Employment in Qatar
Career opportunities for women in Qatar seem to bring no end with female employees emerging as the fastest growing group in the work force. The country has witnessed a favorable economic environment with the GDP growth rate estimated to reach around 8% by 2017. Qatar leads in women empowerment as well as women’s employment. Qatari women play a key role in the economic future of the country by entering the job market in increasing numbers. Their participation in the labor force has significantly grown from 14% in 1986 (Planning Council, 2005) to around 40% in 2003 (UNDP, 2005), and still growing.
The numerous factors that limited the involvement of women in the workplace are gradually reducing. For instance, younger women are more confident and less concerned about working with male employees. They are more open to make a choice between career and family. Qatari women are increasingly joining the dynamic workforce in various booming sectors, such as energy by defying all the previous social constraints.
While still some countries mark the absence of well-defined protection and legal rights for women that restrict them for economic participation, Qatar continually introduces social, political and educational changes to ensure better opportunities for women. Nevertheless, greater participation of women in the labor force is imperative to meet the nation’s goals of economic development. Since women play a crucial role in economic development, Qatar wants more women to join its workforce.
The Role of Education
Education plays a crucial role in promoting women empowerment. As the number of women attaining education in the MENA region is increasing, females are moving into the employment market. Numerous international conventions such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights have always highlighted the importance of education as it contributes to the overall growth of the productive capabilities of a nation’s labor force and its income. Countries with high gender gaps in attaining education remain less competitive. Hence, women need appropriate training and education to identify career opportunities and contribute to the growth of the nation.
Women are marching ahead gradually, but certain challenges remain that need to be addressed by the Arab governments to encourage more women to work. In terms of employment opportunities, the private sector plays a key role in empowering women economically. More dedicated policies and greater involvement of the private sector can create the Arab world that welcomes Qatari women and expat female employee from across the globe.
As an expat woman in Qatar, you can find lucrative job opportunities in different sectors. However, it is vital to follow the Qatari work culture and ethics such as dressing modestly and respecting their religion.