GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Women's Political Participation and Representation in Qatar
Paper Proposal Text :
Over recent decades, Qatar has emerged as one of the world’s most proactive mediators in the international arena. It has also experienced a number of domestic changes to its economic infrastructure, welfare system and political system, along with material improvement in its citizens’ standard of living. Nonetheless, despite such radical and rapid advances, political reform in Qatar has proved to be relatively tentative.
Reform of Qatar’s state infrastructure was initiated as a progressive movement during the formation of the state during the 1960s and 1970s.Nonetheless, the process of political reform originated with Sheikh Hamad, who came to power in 1995. The Emir of Qatar launched a number of pro-democratic reforms. After few months, Qatari regime decided to take a step that none of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries had yet taken. The Emir, Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al- Thani, announced the new policy reforms that include the new Central Municipal Council (CMC) elections with the women’s political participation. In 1999, the Emir of Qatar also decided that women would be able to run as candidates. After this year, Qatari women have become a part of the political transition process. In 2003, the political rights of the Qatari women have been guaranteed by new constitution in Qatar.
Since the first municipal elections in 1999, five CMC elections and one constitution referendum have been held in Qatar. Nevertheless, the political participation and representation of the Qatari women in those elections remained as a controversial issue on public mind, due to its rareness in the level of women's representation and participation during the campaign and election and executive processes.
There are a number of studies that underline the importance of women’s participation and representation in the democratization process in Middle East, the Gulf and Qatar in particular. Yet, the study to explore the perceptions towards the political participation and representations of the women in Qatar are still limited. The main aim of this research, therefore, is to analyze the perception of people in Qatar (Qatari or residents) towards the women political participation and representation in Qatar via answering the questions that how do people in Qatar perceive the role of the Women in Qatari politics? How do they define the importance of the women participation in the election and campaign process?
Regarding the research methodology, this study will use qualitative research methods, by employing three basic types of data collection procedures. In addition to existing literature on this issue, personal interviews will be used for the collection of qualitative data. This is due to the number of aspects missing on the role of women and their political participation and representation in Qatar. Participants of the study will be chosen by non-probability purposive sampling among the expert on Qatar and political system in this country. To look at the different perspectives, personal interviews will be conducted with the participants from a number of varied sectors; media, think tanks, universities and research institutes. Moreover, in the secondary data analysis, five surveys will be used, which are: “Qatari Women Survey”, “Qatar World Value Survey” and “Omnibus survey” conducted by SESRI (the Social and Economic Survey Research Institute at Qatar University): A survey titled “Qatar University Students’ Perception About Women Political Participation and Representation in Qatar” conducted by Cihat Battaloglu in 2014: and Arab Barometer survey in 2011 and 2014.