Human Rights Watch (HRW) filed a submission on Qatar with the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on Monday in preparation for the committee’s upcoming meeting and review of Qatar’s progress.
The committee is charged with monitoring women’s progress in states that signed the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. HRW’s submission on Qatar raises concerns about discrimination in the nation’s personal status, penal, and nationality laws and about violence against women and abuse of migrant domestic workers.
HRW notes that women face discrimination in divorce and custody proceedings, may have their travel outside the country curtailed by husbands or male guardians, are disproportionately charged and punished for criminal offenses related to sex outside of marriage, and are not adequately protected from domestic violence and other gender-based forms of abuse. Additionally, migrant domestic workers, who are almost exclusively women, do not have maximum hours nor are they required to be paid for overtime work.
HRW’s submission closes by making recommendations to the UN committee and encourages it to call on Qatar to address the matters highlighted in its submission and to push for greater compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.