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The New Arab Staff

Qatar responds to HRW report on guardianship laws for women

The new report accused Qatar of suppressing the rights of women [Getty]

Date of publication: 30 March, 2021

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Qatar has said that a new report about the guardianship law for women is not representative of what happens in the country.
Qatar reaffirmed on Monday the vital role women play in the country and the importance of gender equality and the empowerment of women to the success of the state, following a critical report on guardianship laws by Human Rights Watch

A government statement said that women in Qatar "play prominent roles in all aspects of life, including decision-making in the economic and political spheres".

Doha said the Human Rights Watch report was an "inaccurate picture of Qatar's laws, policies, and practices related to women, as the statements contained in the report are not in line with the country's constitution".

The report released Monday looked at Qatar's guardianship rules saying that men can prevent women relatives from marrying, securing employment, gaining education, and obtaining reproductive healthcare.

"At the root of these discriminatory rules are laws, policies, and practices that deem men as heads of households and as legal and social guardians of women," read the report.

The report's findings were based on a review of 27 laws, policies and rules, and 73 interviews, including 50 in-depth interviews with women, whose lives have been affected by the guardianship system.

The report also cited the case of a Qatari woman who claimed she fled because she feared violence from her family.

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Responding to the claims in the report, Qatar said that violence against women in any form is not tolerated. 

"Qatar's constitution prohibits discrimination against women, and the state continues its efforts to enforce, approve and expand the scope of policies that give women the freedom to make their own decisions," they added.

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