Over the years, the Middle East has been associated with the notion that women and their opinions are always being taken for granted. Qatar, being among the nations located in the Middle East, is a country that having undergone numerous transformations towards development over the years has still been a victim of these notions. Despite the historical and constructive transformations, one of the most discussed and stereotypical subject matter people frequently link to the Middle East is that of gender disparity and the weakness of the women. Being a Qatari female, my objective in this study is to write concerning this subject that reveals the position of a woman at a rank of superiority. This thesis will center on the Qatari females in leadership positions fifteen years before and subsequent to the year 2000. It will attempt to cover and argue in comparison the path that women trod to realize such a position as well as the variables that aided in their triumph. One of the reasons for choosing this issue as a case study is because Qatar has faced a very crucial historical change towards the equal rights of women.
Attributable to the fact that there have been some changes that have been most evident in areas like education and law which in turn started to slowly change the perspective of the local culture, I decided to focus on the variables of education, law, and culture as a platform in explaining the leadership of women. Being a country that has invested heavily in the education sector in the hopes of shifting the oil rich country into a knowledge based economy under the rule of her highness Sheikhah Moza bint Nasser, there was foundation known as the Qatar foundation established. The main objective of this foundation was to create an education city in the country, which would be the host of nine branches of renowned university. This was a huge milestone for the country being that around the early 90s girls were not allowed to attend schools. This was supported due to the reality that the society thought that the Quran forbade it. However, with the investments on education there were some positive outcomes in relation to the culture and the understanding of how effective educated women are in the growth of a country.
The adjustments were not limited to the learning sector but they were also assimilated into the legal structure of the country. The changes that occurred in the country’s constitution were a very easy way to show that the government of the country cared for its citizens. The changes provided a stepping stone for the women of Qatar to have equal rights as compared to their male counterparts, especially in the workforce. This thesis focuses on two sectors when writing about Qatari female leaders. It will take into deliberation the political and the financial sector. The research centers on the augment of political, in addition to economic, leadership positions of women in Qatar. The financial and political segments are exceedingly recognized as influential and authoritative sectors in spite of gender. Research has led to the discovery that there are approximately 2.5 million people in Qatar, however, only around 0.3 million are indigenous Qatari. Therefore, there is a great need to measure the effects of the rise in women’s leadership in Qatar, and I am hoping to increase my understanding on the factors that have aided in the developmentof this phenomena. There are a significant number of women success stories that helped in the examination of the reasoning on what gave the women the push to go beyond the boundaries in such a short time. Through examination of the gender dimensions of the local culture, education, and the law systems, it was easy to understand how women were empowered in the process of attaining leadership roles.
Having already established the basis of the theoretical platform of this thesis, which will also play a vital role in the scrutiny of the evidence collected; it becomes necessary to reflect upon how the evidence was gathered to support the arguments that were in this dissertation. There are various practices of gathering data and examining it. However, in this dissertation I chose to use the qualitative method of analysis. Using the qualitative technique will improve the evaluation by ensuring that some limitations of the quantitative technique are prevented. Like in my case, the focusing on the education part of Qatar did not bring about the right amount of evidence needed. Therefore, in order to balance this out I had to include law and culture, which were accessible to the public and had a good amount of literature to support them.
The best way of carrying out this methodology was through a secondary method of data collection from Google and online libraries such as EBSCOhost and ProQuest, which offered journals, review of documents that have been written, and the research that has already been done. This aided in getting comprehensive and historical information on the education changes that led to transformations in the cultural background and ultimately the modification in the law of Qatar leading to the rise of women in leadership positions and politics. It is clear that in this thesis the researcher concentrated on the already extant information. The methodological questions that arose in this thesis included whether the information that is recorded still has an effect on the present situation since times are changing in Qatar? Another question would be whether there is any correlation between the three aspects that the researcher was looking at in the subject of women in leadership in Qatar and its proof.
In the process of using my methodology in the data analysis, I looked for the most up to date material in regards to the subject of women in leadership and the most recent research pertaining to the development of women’s status in Qatar. This was to ensure that I have updated information on the subject and I do not deal with many old materials. However, I was referring to some old materials through comparing them with the present situations. On the issue about finding evidence for a correlation between the three factors namely: education, culture, and law, I examined the changes that took place in the Qatari education sector and the effects it had on the culture hence leading to an effect on the country’ laws. Looking at the various research areas I can say that the biggest issue that I faced was a lack of data, that is, areas like education alone did not have a sufficient amount of data to help in this thesis. It was also very difficult to access some of the legal materials that I needed to gather some more information from on the changes that have taken place in the Qatari laws.
The type of research that I carried out was highly descriptive since I interpreted a lot of details and described most of the documents, which provided me with information in the form of substantiation. I also had to observe the changes that have taken place from the early 90s when women in Qatar were not allowed to go to school comparing it to recent times where the leaders in Qatar have launched a vision 2030 for Qatar’s economic development that has impacted heavily the education sector and made subsequent effects on the country’s culture and laws. Schooling in Qatar is gender defined since after completing school the men and women nowadays are allowed to look for jobs in the government institutions and even non-governmental institutions. Most of the Qatari women have the tendency of taking jobs in the education, medical, and the social dealings ministries of the government. In the past, high level positions were mostly held by men but due to the changes nowadays, even the women have stepped up and started joining the high level jobs. The presence of foreign workforce in the country is what has led to the to the notion that the Qatari women are not well accepted in leadership positions when judged against the men since the foreign females mostly work as maids, teachers, nurses, and nannies.
The roles with respect to gender in Qatar are relatively distinct. Men have the tendency to engage more in the public associations when judged against the women. However, this does not pose controls to the females as they have the admittance to learning and employment and have the autonomy of speech and movement. Islamic rules and regulations leave the Qatari women uncomfortable among strangers and this may be mistaken for oppression by their own men. This, however, is not the case as the women like carrying their activities in private and it should not be taken that they are afraid of men. Assigned leadership is rampant in Qatar, where the leader derives his or her authority from the position that he/she holds. On the other hand, there are some form of emergent leadership where a person starts taking on tasks voluntarily, helping others do their tasks better and encouraging them to work together.
A person’s drive to be an emergent leader is fueled by a number of individual characteristics including gender and culture. Previous research has suggested that a man’s chances of emerging as a leader in a group are greater than a woman’s. Culture may cause an impact on the views of an individual about the team and this may cause willingness to be empowered to work without supervision hence leading to the emergent leadership. In Qatar, due the Islamic laws that govern the people there, the women find it hard to work sometimes under all the pressure since they may be forced sometimes to live restricted lives as compared to the men who are given all the freedom.
The Position of Women
Learning plays a huge task in promoting the empowerment of women in the community. In Qatar, the number of women attaining education is increasing as the women are starting to move into the employment market. The number of enrollment in primary education for both the male and the female learners has improved over time, which demonstrates that a higher number of girls are being given a chance to experience schooling and learn like the male ones. The level of primary school students rose from 90% to 93% in the years 2012-2015. In the secondary level, there has also been an increase in the enrollment of girls from 28% to 31% showing that the culture of not allowing girls to go to school has changed and that the current laws dictate that it is the right of the girl child to experience education without being discriminated.
In the tertiary institutions also, the number of females has been higher when compared to that of the male learners with a ratio of 2 to 1. When research was done on the graduates in the academic years between 2011 and 2015, it turned out that 32% of the graduates were all female showing that the women are excelling more in education hence giving them higher chances to explore the political positions and the high positions in government institutions due to their success. Gender inequality is a subject that human rights activists have fought to try and eliminate from the globe. Therefore, in Qatar, the government has made sure that there are laws that have been put in place to ensure that the rights of the women are being met properly. Qatar’s constitution, therefore, supports the human rights and freedoms for all genders. The constitution affirms that every resident despite their sex have equivalent rights and liabilities. Therefore, the women are not restricted from doing any type of work. This is to show that Qatar as a nation has moved to create a very fair constitution to ensure that the women in the country get the same opportunities that the men. Attributable to these laws, women now can be able to look for a job that suits them and they have a chance to run for leadership positions as they are not limited by anything because they have the education and the job opportunities available.
In this country, a lot has changed over the years from the culture where the women were seen as inferior beings that could not lead or occupy high level jobs; the culture that men were more superior to women and, therefore, the women had no right to compete with them. These variations have been as a result of the transformations in learning and the enlightening of people to know how educating girls is important to the economy of a country. There have also been transformations in schooling in that the learning is currently not for the boys only as was the case, but it has at present accommodated the women. The number of female students in the tertiary institutions has also augmented and the number of female graduates enhanced to a rate that has surpassed the male graduates. This has been so because as a female in such a country, one feels the need to prove her position and ends up working harder than the men. This results to more success for women as compared to the men. The law has also changed to ensure that the women are supported by the government to reach for the highest that they want in terms of local jobs and the government has ensured that the ladies have rights that protect them against discrimination. This ensures that the women have no limits hence making them go for leadership positions, which they could not go for before.
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Castro, Felipe González, Joshua Kellison, Stephen Boyd, and Albert Kopak. “A methodology for conducting integrative mixed methods research and data analyses.” Journal of mixed methods research 4, no. 4 (2010): 342-360.
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Qatar National Development Strategy. Doha: Gulf and Printing, 2011.
Stoet, Gijsbert, and David Geary. “Sex differences in academic achievement are not related to political, economic, or social equality.” Intelligence 48 (2015): 137-151.
. Francisco Parro, “International evidence on the gender gap in education over the past six decades: A puzzle and an answer to it,” Journal of Human Capital 6, no. 2 (2012): 150-185.
 . Ikhlas Abdalla, “Being and Becoming a Leader: Arabian Gulf Women Managers’ Perspectives,” International Journal of Business and Management 10, no. 1 (2014): 25.
. Gijsbert Stoet, and David Geary, “Sex differences in academic achievement are not related to political, economic, or social equality,” Intelligence 48 (2015): 137-151.
 . Felipe González, Castro, Joshua Kellison, Stephen Boyd, and Albert Kopak, “A methodology for conducting integrative mixed methods research and data analyses,” Journal of mixed methods research 4, no. 4 (2010): 342-360.
. Qatar National Development Strategy (Doha: Gulf and Printing, 2011), 23.
. Ibid., 158.
. Alice Eagly, and Steven Karau, “Role congruity theory of prejudice toward female leaders,” Psychological review 109, no. 3 (2002): 573.
. “Qatar Information Exchange,” Qatar Information Exchange, January 1, 2010, Accessed July 17, 2015,
. “GCC Women in Leadership – from the First to the Norm,” Women Matter 2014, (2014): 1-29.
. Hiba Khodr, “The dynamics of international education in Qatar: Exploring the policy drivers behind the development of Education City,” Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies 2, no. 6 (2011): 514-525.
. “Social and Economic Survey Research Institute,” Social and Economic Survey Research Institute, January 1, 2013, Accessed July 17, 2015,