Not many Qatari men are in favour of women entering public life. A survey of a large number of male citizens to find out their voting preferences in the parliamentary elections scheduled for next year revealed a vast majority of the respondents were not in favour of women being candidates.
Some 63 percent of the respondents in the survey, conducted by Al Sharq, straightaway replied in the negative when asked if they would vote for female contestants. Only 30 percent said yes, while seven percent of the respondents said they were undecided.
But a prominent Qatari, Dr Saif Al Hajri, who is vice-chairman of Qatar Foundation, when asked to comment on the results of the survey, said he was “encouraged” since at least 30 percent of the respondents had said they would vote for women candidates.
“Considering that all the respondents covered by the survey were men, the percentage favouring women as parliamentary candidates is fairly encouraging and acceptable,” said Al Hajri.
A prominent Qatari woman, Dr Zakia Mallallah, on the other hand, said people must vote based on the qualities and qualifications of a candidate and not on the basis of gender. “I will vote for a woman candidate and urge others to follow suit,” she commented.
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