At an accelerated pace, the participation of Qatari women in the financial and business sectors has increased during the past few years and expanded in all economic sectors, both traditionally and modernly, which has positively impacted the enhancement of their contribution to the national economy, the private sector and strengthening social protection.
According to Qatar Chamber data, current estimates indicate that the number of women who own partially or fully the companies registered in the Chamber is about 7,000 Qatari women, while the number of women authorised signatories and have the right to manage in companies is about 4,900 and the number of authorised signatories only is more than 4,700 Qatari women.
Qatar Chamber Board member and chairperson of the Qatari Businesswomen Forum Ibtihaj al-Ahmadani said that Qatari businesswomen have achieved great success in the business world and had a clear imprint in various economic sectors.
The past years witnessed intense women's economic activity benefiting from the support and directives of the leadership, good governance policies that support women, and focus on empowering and activating women's economic participation, she noted.
In a statement to Qatar News Agency, al-Ahmadani added that it was natural for these efforts to result in a wide presence of Qatari women in economic development, and in particular, the labour market and entrepreneurship.
She pointed out that Qatari women stormed into areas of business that were exclusive to men in the past and achieved remarkable success.
The rise of women in the world of finance and business is attributed to the Qatari legislation that supports women and motivates them to expand their businesses without exception and discrimination, in addition to the facilities provided by the investment environment in the State of Qatar, which encouraged many businesswomen to increase the investment demand.
It is estimated that their investments amount to billions of riyals, and is an important part of economic activity in Qatar, suggesting that women's contribution to the national economy will grow year after year, she highlighted.
The chairperson of the Qatari Businesswomen Forum confirmed that the strong presence of Qatari women in family businesses is because most women start their projects as family businesses and then gradually turn into public or private shareholding companies.
Family businesses are an important part of the Gulf economic heritage, noting that the family support, whether material or moral, for businesswomen, has greatly contributed to their gaining sufficient experience and knowledge to manage large companies and enter into various investment sectors, and this type of company has great privacy in management and organisation.
The role of Qatari businesswomen is not only centred in family businesses but there are companies owned, established, and managed by businesswomen who were able, individually, to transform them from ideas to companies on the ground, she added.
On the other hand, al-Ahmadani noted that there are some successful partnerships between Qatari businesswomen and their counterparts in Arab and Gulf countries in various sectors but are not of the required size.
She added that the forum aspires to more partnerships and alliances between Gulf and Arab businesswomen and develop them among Gulf business owners in terms of benefiting from the appropriate investment climate in the Co-operation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) countries.
For her part, entrepreneur Haya al-Dosari said that businesswomen were able to rise to new heights in the field of economy and investment, noting that activities related to entrepreneurship have become the most dominant among women's projects.
She explained that the role of Qatari businesswomen was not limited to focusing on traditional sectors such as hospitality and home projects, but rather went beyond that to investing in various economic activities and sectors.
Al-Dosari added that there are four main factors behind the growing participation of women in the economic field and the establishment of their commercial entities and investment projects.
Most notable is the wise leadership's support to empower women in various fields, enacting laws and legislation that stimulate investment, the availability of feasible investment opportunities and preparing and training girls to learn business management, and raising awareness of opportunities and project risks, which strengthened the role of women in economic and commercial decisions and increased their participation in the investment field.
She pointed out that her experience in training and rehabilitating for Qatari businesswomen that she was among the graduates of the "Women's Economic Empowerment Project", which organised events and workshops for women to train them on how to enter the world of money and business.
She said that she was trained on how to establish a commercial project and was followed up after training on the idea proposal, planning, and implementing the project on the ground.
An integrated program was implemented in this regard, which resulted in the establishment of three companies, and currently, is reaping the fruits of this wonderful work and have the desire to grow and expand in the future.
The fields in which Qatari businesswomen are active vary to include most economic sectors, especially in the field of small and medium enterprises.
The most notable presence of women is in the sectors of industry, tourism, real estate, contracting and construction, trade, and services — especially education and health — electronic design, general trade, import and export, and local production of packaged foods and perfumes, in addition to beauty centres and others, as well as women's investments in local stocks in the stock exchange.
There is also a great activity for home business owners and productive families who provide great quality products at competitive prices.
Gender equality and women's empowerment is a basic and pivotal pillar in the Qatar National Vision 2030, which has given valuable attention to the issue of empowering women and enhancing their capabilities, ensuring that they enjoy their right to work, enabling them to participate in economic activities, providing decent work, and enhancing social protection for them.
Qatar is at the forefront of countries defending women's rights and ensuring their economic empowerment.