Many have pledged that, if elected, they would try to boost development in their areas through the creation of more parks and health and sports facilities.
Several issues pertaining specifically to women, including the idea of setting up daycares in the workplace, have also been raised.
Formed in 1999, Qatar’s only elected body can only make recommendations and has no legislative authority. This lack of power appears to have diminished interest in the upcoming elections, which have seen record-low registration levels.
Though only a fraction – five – of the candidates who are running this term are women, some 40 percent of those who have registered to vote are female.
Speaking to Doha News at a town hall meeting this week, many women said they felt it was their civic duty to participate in the elections, and shed light on issues pertinent to them. Voter Amna Ahmad al-Naama, 54, said:
“A large mosque with a proper, spacious place for women is all I need.”
Another woman, 53-year-old Bannah Al-Tamimi, said she would like to see a young girls’ club or center set up in her district. That way, teens would have a place to spend their time productively during long summer breaks by engaging in sports, crafts and Quran memorization, she said.
Speaking at this week’s meeting, incumbent CMC member Sheikha al-Jufairi, currently the only woman on the council, renewed her pledge to set up nurseries in the workplace.
When she first raised the idea to the council three years ago, many members rejected the notion as infeasible, as the presence of children could derail productivity.
But as Qatar strives to increase the number of women in the labor force, she said this week that the government appears to be coming around to the idea.
There are 29 seats up for grabs during next month’s elections, though a handful of candidates are running unopposed in their constituencies. Only Qataris can run and vote at the polls, though some hopefuls say they would also like to hear from expats about ideas to improve the community.