For the first time in Qatar, legislative (Shura Council) elections are going to be held on Saturday. Women candidates are also participating in the elections in this Gulf Muslim country. However, their number is quite low. As a result, their role in issues affecting women is expected to be limited. AFP News
Under the new law, 30 members of the 45-member Shura Council will be elected. There are 264 candidates in these 30 seats of the Legislative Assembly. Among them 26 are women candidates.
The Emir of Qatar will appoint the people’s representatives in the remaining 15 seats. The rights and responsibilities of the nominated and elected members will remain the same. They will approve the general policy and budget of the government. In addition, they will have control over the executive authority.
Analysts have indicated that Amir will appoint a number of women to the remaining seats in order to maintain the numerical balance of women and men in the legislature. Elected members of parliament will draft the law. He will also select the members of the cabinet.
Elham Fakhro, a senior Gulf crisis analyst with the International Crisis Group, said: “The participation of women in the elections is a very positive step. But I think we have to limit our expectations about their role. Because, only 26 women are contesting in the election. But it’s no surprise. ”
Thirty members of the 45-member Shura Council will be elected. There are 264 candidates in these 30 seats. Among them 26 are women candidates.
Lina Al-Dafa is one of the women candidates. She said her priority would be to promote women’s education, support female teachers and give citizenship to the children of Qatari women if she wins the election.
In Qatar, a child’s citizenship is determined by his or her father’s inheritance. In other words, if a Qatari woman marries a foreigner, her child will not get Qatari citizenship. As a result, such children in the country are deprived of many kinds of government facilities.
Meanwhile, Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al Thani has called on the people to participate in the first Shura Council elections in the country’s history. Under the new law, all Qataris over the age of 18 can vote.