The Ministry of Labor is bristling at the findings of a new Gallup poll that put Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman far behind the Middle East and much of the rest of the world when it comes to an integrated job market.
According to Gallup, some 57 percent of women who want to work are working full- or part-time in Qatar, compared to 71 percent of men – a 14-percent gap. The average gap for the Middle East is 4 percent.
However, the MoL asserts that Qatar is a world leader in providing jobs for its female citizens, whether in the public or private sector, the Gulf Times reports.
While it is true that national women’s labor force participation rose from 14 percent in 1986 to 34 percent in 2006, it has stabilized since then.
And despite comprising the majority of local college graduates, only 35 percent of female nationals work.
Additionally, the Gallup poll takes into account not just the national workforce, but expats as well.
The organization is also careful in its definition of employment metrics so that it is based on adults who are working or looking for work – instead of those who are at an employable age:
This is an important distinction because large numbers of women are homemakers or are not part of the workforce for other reasons. Examining the workforce alone allows equal comparisons between men and women who want to work.
In Qatar, there are certainly many expat women who are here under their husbands’ sponsorships and who want to work, but face difficulty overcoming bureaucratic hurdles.
The large number of men in the construction industry may also skew the numbers.
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