Government Communications Office statement in response to Human Rights Watch

29 March 2021

Gender equality and female empowerment are central to Qatar’s success and vision. Qatar is an outspoken advocate for women’s rights at home and abroad.

The Human Rights Watch report inaccurately portrays Qatar’s laws, policies and practices related to women. 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. 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.

Education is the basis for equal opportunity and development. Qatar has invested heavily to ensure all women have access to quality education and opportunities in all sectors, especially STEM industries. Women hold some of the most influential and highest-paid jobs in Qatar. They also hold business leadership positions across multiple sectors. Around 20 percent of business records in Qatar are registered by Qatari businesswomen – an increase from 1,400 business records in 2015 to nearly 4,000 in 2020.

Enshrined in Qatar’s Constitution is a prohibition on discrimination against women. The government continues to enforce, introduce, and expand policies that provide women with freedom and agency to make their own decisions. There is zero tolerance in Qatar for gender-based violence or domestic abuse.

As a government, we will continue to work together with human rights organizations, civil society, legislators and individuals to empower women in Qatar and achieve progress for the wider community.