Traditionally in Qatar, the wife is the homemaker and the husband is the provider. However, through globalization and the growing influence of cultures from the rest of the world, this idea is slowly but surely evolving into more women being employed in Qatar. Also, the number of foreign women getting into Qatar as expats speeds up this process.
Most Qatari women work as nurses and teachers, but nowadays, more women are entering into other fields, like those in the financial sector. Some employers even have the opinion that female workers are more hardworking than their male counterparts. In fact, women, especially from the middle and higher classes of society, are rising to higher positions in the workforce. Most female expats work as lawyers, doctors, stewardesses, hotel administrators and more.
More and More Women are Joining the Workforce in Qatar
The following are five interesting facts about women employment in Qatar.
1. Crucial for Country’s Future
The economic future of Qatar lies strongly on the number of women employed in the workforce. Studies have shown that on average, Qatari women are better educated than men. They are also shown to have a more robust professional commitment. It is a good thing, then, that the number of Qatari women employed continues to increase, and that Qatar has taken all the right steps to provide more opportunities for women by changing its educational, political and social landscape.
2. Occupations of Qatari Women
In 2018, 96 percent of Qatari men participate in the labor force. In contrast, 58.5% of women participate in the labor force. Compared to 2009, participation among women increased by 9.4 percent. A 2014 survey shows that 45 percent of employed women work in the social and natural sciences, 27 percent in the information and technology field, while 25 percent work in the construction field. Qatari women’s participation in the workforce is highest among GCC countries, but it is still lower than the rest of the world’s numbers, so there’s room for improvement.
3. National Vision 2030
Qatar’s National Vision 2030, a road map for social and economic progress in the country, actually puts emphasis on Islamic values that promote traditional roles among women. In fact, the National Vision states that the main pillar of society is the family, and women, through “their nurturing of language, codes of ethics, behavioral patterns, value systems and religious beliefs,” have an absolutely necessary role of continuing the tradition of cultural and familial values. Having said that, the United Nations recognizes Qatar as an ally when it comes to promoting a system that works for both men and women.
4. Labor Law and Employment of Women
On the employment of women, Qatar’s Labor Law stresses that women who do the same work as men should get equal pay and get the same training and promotion opportunities. The law also mentions that women should not be employed to do dangerous work or work that harms the morals and the health.
5. On Maternity Leave
If a female worker has worked for at least one year, then the employee will grant her fifty days of maternal leave, which includes prenatal and postnatal periods. The employee needs to provide a medical report from a licensed physician. Moreover, the report should contain the date of delivery.
Qatar is indeed progressive in terms of women employment. While not perfect, there’s no doubt the country will advance further towards social justice and equality.