Main Article Content
Patriarchy, women empowerment, leadership, Qatar, gender equality
Purpose: The State of Qatar has widely sought to include women in public life and has implemented several policies in order to improve gender equality in the workforce and fair distribution of development benefits. This study establishes how far the State of Qatar has achieved the equality of women in the workplace, since the initiation of new reform policies and agendas of modernisation in 1995. Qatari women in leadership positions still face major challenges in relation to cultural limitations and organisational constraints; these areas need to be further developed to improve the degree of gender equality and close the wide gap between the two genders in terms of economic rights and equal opportunities in the labour force.
Methodology: This paper uses semi-structured interviews which were conducted with twenty-five women aged all of whom held senior management positions in a range of civil society and public sector organisations in Qatar at the time of the interview. The twenty-five participants who participated in the study ranged in age from 34 to 61 years.
Main Findings: The findings suggest that Qatari women are helped by two forces: the support they are getting from the ruling family and the impact of reforms and social change in surrounding regions. Indeed, the slow pace of social reform is one of the common complaints of progressives.
Implications/Applications: Therefore, focused, procedural steps should be taken to enforce adherence to frameworks by governmental institutions and to amend existing legislation to tackle the challenges faced by women. These steps include implementing some social policy recommendations in terms of establishing and funding women’s civil society organisations, integrating an evaluation and monitoring system in governmental organisations, promoting work/family policies, and initiating a feminisation policy in government organisations.
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