Qatar election marks the first poll for the legislative seats in the affluent kingdom.
Women were the main losers in the Qatar election for the Shura Council. 26 women ran for the membership in the council, but none had the chance for entry in the newly formed establishment.
The voters took to the polls to choose two-third of the members of advisory Shura Council. The rest of members will take the command by the Qatari Emir. the council, by the way has a limited authority and can intervene in a restricted range of policies for the affluent kingdom that.
Qatar prevents the formation of political parties due to controlled state sovereignty. Qatari Emir used to appoint all the 45 members of the Shura Council. Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani passed the power to general election for 30 seat only after public pressures.
This is while a great campaign by female candidates to find a way to the council failed. “To have all men is not the vision of Qatar,” said one of the female candidates urging other females in Qatar to join the movement in future elections.
Females, nevertheless, had obstacles on the way. Apart from the legislative glass ceiling, the women faced a male barrier in what seemed to be the continuation of a patriarchal society.
“I just say: I’m strong, I’m capable. I see myself as fit as a man … If you want to see me as weak, that’s up to you, but I am not weak,” said one of the female candidates in Qatar Election.
Qatari residents took to the polls on Saturday to elect the 30 members of the advisory Shura Council. This was the first Qatar Election for a legislative body. The structure of election has sparked internal disputes about electoral inclusiveness and citizenship.
Women in Qatar Election
Qatar has made steps to improve the women’s rights in the past years, activists have criticized the country for multiple concerns. Permission to obtain a driver’s license is one of the new developments for females in Qatar.
Critics and freedom campaigns, nevertheless, blast the monarchy for concerns such as the guardianship system. The system requires male approval for a woman to marry, take a trip, or receive reproductive health services.
In a report by Human Rights Watch this year, it was clarified that the protesters of the current misogynist system will be subject to harsh judicial punishment. According to the HRW, an unknown account which posted critical contents about the guardianship system was soon disabled. Further information clarified that the operator of the account was summoned later.
Most female candidates in the Qatar election had the aspiration to facilitate the inclusion of children of Qatari female nationals married to foreigners. Like in many other Arab countries, Qatari women have a hard way to register a Qatari citizenship for their children if the marry a foreigner.
The absolute failure of all female candidates in Qatar election truly indicates the social oppression against these group. Qatar has made achievements in recent decades in improving the economic indexes and social welfare. But as with the civil liberties and social equalities, the kingdom, like other neighboring countries, Qatar is still in a gloomy condition.
“To convince the males (to vote for women), yes, we may have to put in work or extra effort,” said Al-Maha al-Majid, a 34-year-old industrial engineer who ran for the election.
Qatar made advancements in many sectors in 21st century. On social issues like women’s rights, however, the country has a long way to go. Qatar election may be a god starting point, but not enough.