Jobless rate among Qatari women soaring: Expert


This was stated by Dr Laila Dhiab, an expert at the General Secretariat of Development Planning (GSDP), in a paper she presented at a symposium on labour strategy in the GCC. The three-day symposium, hosted by the GSDP, began at the Millennium Hotel.

Dhiab said more education, training and employment opportunities were available for men than women here due to social and cultural factors. "Qatari women face a host of challenges on the social and cultural fronts."

Education in their case is not linked to job market requirements as families put pressure on them to go for easy subjects like social sciences, Islamic studies and the humanities.

There were no or little education and job opportunities for women in the GCC before the 1980s, according to Dhiab. Things have, however, changed dramatically ever since but families still don’t like to send women for higher education overseas.

Many foreign universities of repute have recently set up their campuses here, but parents are reluctant to send their daughters to study as they are coeducational institutions.

The representation of Qatari women is negligible in the private sector where there are job opportunities galore. “But our women don’t like to take up private jobs primarily due to the double shift,” she pointed out.

Married Qatari women employed by banks normally quit their jobs when their children begin to go to school since they cannot afford to be out of their homes until 3pm.

A lack of social security is another major reason behind nationals keeping away from private jobs. “But a beginning can be made by encouraging women to take up employment in private firms on a part-time basis," she said.

“A Qatari woman basically looks at employment as an economic necessity, so in the absence of that necessity, employment loses importance for her,” she said. "What is, therefore, needed is a change of attitude. We have to realise that employment has social and cultural values as well."



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