Though Qatari women comprise the majority of local college graduates, only 35 percent of female nationals work.
Faced with a massive shortage of skilled nationals, Qatar has set ambitious targets to increase their participation to 42 percent by 2016.
To do that, researchers are launching an investigation into the ”cultural and social impediments” influencing Qatari women’s education choices, whether they enter the workforce and their career pursuits.
Family appears to play a big role, says Dr. Hanan Abdul Rahim, associate director of Qatar University’s Social and Economic Research Survey Institute, which is conducting a three-year research project called ”Kin Influences on Qatari Women’s Transitions into the Labour Force.”
The Peninsula reports:
Qatari women’s labour force participation rose from 14 percent in 1986 to 34 percent in 2006, but it has been relatively stable since, and it is lower than neighbouring Arab countries like the UAE and Kuwait. Moreover, women who are employed tend to concentrate in certain professions, mainly teaching and clerical jobs…
“The researchers will interview young women at two points in time, which will enable us to track changes in their schooling and employment choices. They will also interview their parents, because that parental attitudes and roles have strong influences on women’s educational and work trajectories,” (Abdul Rahim) said.
The research team will consist of scholars from Qatar, Canada and the United States.
Credit: Photo by Frederick Noronha
*This article has been corrected to say that 35 percent of Qatari women work. It previously incorrectly stated that Qatari women make up 35 percent of the workforce here.