Women in Qatar still do not have the right to make decisions independently from men on fundamental issues such as marriage, travel and access to certain types of health care, such as gynecological care.
Human Rights Watch denounces this in a recently published report, which appeals to the authorities of the emirate to eliminate the rules of the so-called "male protection system".
The New York-based NGO, which interviewed dozens of women to draft its report, says that despite some initiatives taken in favor of women's rights, including education and social protection, Qatar still lags behind. neighbors of the Gulf, if you think for example of Saudi Arabia, which in 2019 allowed adult women to travel without a permit.
One of them told of living in a state similar to a "constant quarantine".
The 94-page report, entitled 'All I have to do is tied to a man', analyzes the rules and practices of the male guardianship system.
Among other things, unmarried women under 25 require the approval of a guardian to travel abroad.
And they can be subject to travel bans at any age by husbands or fathers.
The system also denies women the authority to act as the primary guardian of their children, even when they are divorced and in legal custody, adds HRW, according to which "male guardianship strengthens the power and control men have over lives and women's choices and can foster or fuel violence, leaving women with few viable options to escape the abuse of their families and husbands ".
The emirate - already in the international spotlight for the conditions of migrants working on construction sites for next year's World Cup - described the HRW report as "inaccurate", but explained that it will investigate the reported cases and will punish any abuse.