From its inception Qatar is committed to protecting the rights of women.
Being an independent sovereign with Sharia’h as its main source of law, Qatar’s Constitution underlines the principle of equality and it is against discrimination on the ground of sex, origin, language, or religion.
The government of Qatar, led by His Highness the Emir, has played a very important role in encouraging women in all sectors of society, including sports.
The government is very eager to observe women’s participation in all sectors and encourage them in political decision-making and social protection and expects their inevitable role in Qatar National Vision 2030.
For the first time in Qatar’s history, recently, the Emir issued the decision appointing four women to the Advisory (Shura) Council, one of its most important consultative bodies, who are Hessa Sultan Jaber Mohamed al-Jaber, Aisha Youssuf Omar al-Hamad al-Mannai, Hend Abdurrahman Mohamed Mubarak al-Muftah and Reem Mohamed Rashid al-Hammoudi al-Mansouri.
This could be a great recognition for women in Qatar and also a true honour for them from the government.
Another reflection of Qatar’s commitment to women can be observed in the appointment of Sheikha Alya bint Ahmed al-Thani as the Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations.
An interesting fact is that Qatar was one of the first countries in the Gulf region which granted women the right to vote.
Qatari women hold senior positions in many government departments including the diplomatic field as well as the private sector.
The first female lawyer was enrolled in Qatar in 2000 and Sheikha Maha Mansour al-Thani became the first female judge in the country in 2010.
It has been reported that Qatar was one of the first countries to encourage the education of girls in the Gulf region in 1938. It is said that Amna al-Jaidah who started the first school at home was named as the “pyramid of education” later.
HE Sheikha Ahmed al-Mahmoud was appointed as Minister of Education in May 2003. She was the first woman in Qatar (and the Gulf) to take up this important ministerial position.
It was a confirmation of His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani’s commitment to the increasing importance of women’s role within Qatar’s educational renaissance.
Meanwhile, Dr Sheikha Abdulla al-Misnad was appointed as president of the University of Qatar; she is also the first woman to hold this position.
In sports also Qatar women started their participation in 1998, in a competition of women’s athletic events, hosted by the Qatar Athletics Federation.
A women’s sports committee was established in 2000 and affiliated with the Qatar Olympic Committee in 2001.
In Summer Olympics of 2012 in London, Qatar’s female participants made their impression in shooting, swimming and athletics to name a few.
Recently, Qatar Olympic Academy conducted its Executive LLM Course, which was the first one of its kind and some nine students/lawyers graduated on December 13, 2017, who received their certificates from His Highness Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al-Thani, President of Qatar Olympic Committee which was a true recognition for them.
It is notable in this occasion that Ghada M Darwish was one among those who received such a recognition.
At this point, it is important to note that there is actually a sport arbitration centre in Qatar – the Qatar Sport Arbitration (“QSAT”).As it is clear from its name, the QSAT deals with only football related disputes and is composed of three divisions; ordinary, appeals and mediation.
Similar to the CAS Code and the Arbitration Law of Qatar, resorting to arbitration under the QSAT should be expressly agreed to in writing.
However, arbitrators may be appointed freely by the parties, so long as they have the necessary legal qualification and obviously cannot appear as counsel before the QSAT.
There are also plans to launch a Qatar Court of Arbitration for Sports which will be fashioned after FIFA regulations and of course, the CAS Code. Qatar’s Government has achieved a lot in terms of women empowerment, and it continues to find ways to support and encourage the role of women in all sectors of society.
*(Supplied by Ghada M Darwish Law Firm)
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