QATARI WOMEN AT POLLS
DOHA: Qatari women are standing in the country’s first legislative election Saturday, but in far lower numbers than men, prompting warnings that their influence on issues that affect women could be limited.
Of the 284 hopefuls running for the 30 available council seats, just 28 are women. The remaining 15 seats will be appointed by the emir with analysts suggesting he may name a number of women to right the imbalance in the body which will draft laws and scrutinise ministers.
“It’s an extremely positive step that women are part of this process,” said Elham Fakhro, senior Gulf analyst at the International Crisis Group. “However, I think we do have to limit our expectations (of their influence) ... as there are only 28 women running for positions. It really shouldn’t be surprising.”