Qatar appoints four women to key council

Qatar appoints four women to key council

DOHA - Agence France-Presse
Qatar appoints four women to key council

Qatar has appointed women to one of its most important consultative bodies, the Shura Council, for the first time in the country’s history, according to a royal decree announced on Nov. 9.

Four women will sit on the 45-strong council, which is responsible for discussing draft laws approved by the cabinet, general government policy and the state’s draft budget, state media said.

“Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani issued an emiri decree renewing the membership of some Shura Council members and appointing 28 new members to include women for the first time in the history of the... council,” said a statement on the Qatar News Agency.

The women appointed were named as Hessa al-Jaber, Aisha Yousef al-Mannai, Hind Abdul Rahman al-Muftah and Reem al-Mansoori.

“Women play an important role in national decision-making in all fields,” Muftah, who works at the Doha Institute for Postgraduate Studies, told AFP.

She added that this role covered government institutions and the “overall development process in the country.”

The announcement comes as Qatar continues to deal with the impact of the worst and most bitter diplomatic crisis in the Gulf for years, which has seen the emirate politically and economically blockaded by neighboring countries.

Qatar has attacked the five-month long blockade as being a “humanitarian” issue and, accordingly, Nov. 9’s announcement may have been prompted by the dispute.

Since the crisis began, Doha has made several notable social policy concessions.

These include proposed changes to its strict residency laws and agreeing to demands from human rights campaigners to overhaul its treatment of migrant workers in Qatar.