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Qatar rejects HRW report on women’s rights, freedom

March 30, 2021 at 1:51 pm

Human Rights Watch (HRW) Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson, talks during a press conference in Doha on June 12, 2012 [KARIM JAAFAR/AFP/GettyImages]

Qatar yesterday rejected a report prepared by Human Rights Watch about women’s rights and freedoms in the Gulf state, saying that gender equality and female empowerment are central to the country’s success and vision.

“The report issued by Human Rights Watch inaccurately portrays Qatar’s laws, policies, and practices related to women,” the Qatari Government Communication Office said in a statement, adding that “the accounts mentioned in the report are not aligned with our constitution, laws or policies. The government will investigate these cases and prosecute anyone who has broken the law.”

“In Qatar, women hold prominent roles in all aspects of life, including economic and political decision making,” it said.

“Qatar leads the region by nearly every gender equality indicator. This includes the highest labour force participation rate for women, equal pay in the government sector, and the highest percentage of women enrolled in university programmes,” it added.

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Qatar has strengthened its efforts to ensure that all women have access to the highest levels of education and opportunities in all sectors, it explained, especially in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Earlier yesterday, HRW issued a 94-page report entitled “Everything I Have to Do is Tied to a Man’: Women and Qatar’s Male Guardianship Rules”, which said the Gulf state has a discriminatory male guardianship system which denies women the right to make many key decisions about their lives.