Qatar: More Qatari women join workforce but obstacles remain

The Peninsula
Though Qatari nationals account for only around 12 per cent of the total labour force, more Qatari women are working outside the home.
"During the past two decades, the participation of Qatari women in economic life has progressively grown but a number of obstacles still remain.
According to Human Development Report, women's participation in the national workforce rose from 14.30 per cent to 30.2 per cent between 1986 and 2004.

The report cited several obstacles like increasing divorce problems, late marriages, unwillingness to be employed in specific occupations and jobs and female unemployment, among others. The rising divorce rate is a major challenge facing Qatari women. Divorce cases rose from 376 in 1995 to 581 in 2003, with 32.76 per cent of total marriages in the same year. Late marriage is a common phenomenon in the Qatari society and has consequences for women.

Another reason is the unemployment rate among Qatari females which exceeds that of males. According to study on unemployment in Qatar, 85.4 per cent of Qatari females had secondary education or were university graduates. Still Qatari women's participation in employment sectors, in general, limited.

Their participation is mainly in the government sector rather than private sector. About 85.3 per cent of women work in the public sector, constituting 33.6 per cent of the total government workforce, as compared to 4.5 per cent in the private sector, mainly in the banking sector, and 2.5 per cent in the mixed sector. The health and education sectors employ a large number of them. Qatari women's participation in the health sector constitutes 77.4 per cent of the total Qatari workforce in this sector."

31 July 2007