Extensive rules specifying the rights and duties of housemaids and how they are to be recruited are expected to be issued by January-end 2011.
The proposed regulations will be part of Qatar’s National Strategy, which is all set to be unveiled in a big way about two months from now.
It is understood that Qatar would lay much emphasis on maids, their rights and their recruitment process as well as their role in the family as they are to be treated as a basis of a “strong family”.
This was disclosed by
Dr Ibrahim Al Ibrahim, Economic Adviser to The Emir, H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, in an interview with a local Arabic daily yesterday.
Al Ibrahim said Qatar’s National Strategy focuses on key social and economic issues and considers a strong and cohesive family as the basis of harmonious and progressive society.
Maids play a very significant role in a family so they are to be given their due, the celebrated economist obliquely hinted in his frank dialogue with the daily.
He also indicated that women’s empowerment would be one of the pillars of the National Strategy, which is to be unveiled early next year.
So, for a Qatari woman to be empowered she must enjoy equal rights with men in every walk of life, including education and employment, and that is possible only when there is a strong backup at home in the form of a supportive maid.
“Qatar’s National Vision believes in a strong family and equality of both the genders (men and women),” he said. So in nuclear families where both the husband and wife work, maids hold the key to happiness and progress.
In the context of the foreign workforce, Al Ibrahim said future projects were to be capital and technology-intensive and not labour-intensive, obliquely suggesting that the large number of unskilled labourers present in the country could be gradually replaced with highly skilled workers.
And since these workers would be getting higher salaries and perks they would be in a position to sponsor their families.
In reply to a question about the retail business in the country suffering and the banks not giving away loans due to lack of liquidity, Al Ibrahim said there was no liquidity crunch in the country at all.
“The government is keeping a close track,” he said, and reiterated how the local banks were propped up to help them tide over any adverse impact of the global financial turmoil.
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