Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on Qatar to repeal the male-dominated law that prevents women from making independent decisions regarding basic rights such as marriage, travel, and access to reproductive health care.
According to a Reuters report, the New York-based HRW said that after taking initiatives for women’s rights, including education and social protection, Qatar is now lagging behind its Gulf neighbors as Saudi Arabia has adopted adult women in 2019. Was allowed to travel without any patronage.
One in 50 women interviewed by HRW described women’s lives as being “permanently quarantined.” The 40-year-old said her parents barred her from receiving scholarships to study abroad. The organization said unmarried Qatari women under the age of 25 need the permission of a male guardian to travel abroad, and that women can be banned from traveling at any age by their husbands or fathers.
Although there is no law requiring permission to work or pursue higher education, some women said they still need permission. HRW said: ‘Male patronage strengthens women’s masculine choices in lives and choices. That could fuel violence and leave women with few viable options to avoid abuse from their families and husbands. Qatar’s human rights record has been significant over the years as the Gulf state prepares to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Qatar dismissed the HRW report but said it would investigate the cases. The Government Communications Office (GCO) said in a statement that “the government continues to introduce, implement and expand policies that give women the freedom to make their own decisions.”
The Qatar Olympic Committee on Sunday announced a review to promote gender equality. In addition, last year Qatar allowed women to obtain driver’s licenses without permission, but like the Gulf states, they also need the approval of a guardian to marry. HRW said women could not act as primary guardians of their children, even if they had legal custody.