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Feminist News


May-15-03

First Woman Minister Appointed in Qatar

The first female minister in Qatar, Sheikha Ahmad Al-Mahmoud, took office last week as the Minister of Education. Al-Mahmoud previously worked as an Arabic language teacher and then at the Ministry of Education.

Walking into the Ministers' Council for the first time was different than walking into a classroom or the Ministry as an employee, she said. "The Country's Prince welcomed me which gave me more self-confidence. In addition I derive my confidence from the fact that it is the women's right to be in high positions in the government whenever they have the qualifications for that," Al-Mahmoud told the Arab Regional Resource Center on Violence Against Women (AMAN).

The appointment of Sheikha Al-Mahmoud came after the ratification of the first Constitution in Qatar in late April. Sheikha Al Jafarie, the first municipal council member in Qatar, commented on the appointment of Al-Mahmoud by saying that the new Minister is "highly qualified and indeed is the right person in the right position," according to AMAN. Abed Al Rahman Al-Atiyah, the General Secretary for the Gulf Cooperation Council, added that "all Gulf countries are proud of the new Minister" and indicated his support for women's progress.

According to ArabicNews.com, at the top of her work agenda, Al-Mahmoud promised "to achieve an attaining and comprehensive educational development through the implementation of the strategies of the Higher Council for Education in Qatar." Moreover, she will work on eliminating the segregation between females and males at schools as well as providing services for teachers and administrators.

Media Resources: AMAN 4/26/03; ArabicNews.com 4/16/03, 5/7/03