Qatari businesswomen set new targets
Doha:, December 8, 2007
Qatari businesswomen have vowed to fight “illogical social traditions and customs that are the biggest obstacles to progress.”
Statistics available with the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QCCI), the representative body of the private sector, show there are currently 346 small and medium businesses in the country which are managed entirely by women, reported Qatar Peninsula
The figures (for 2005-06) suggest these are businesses representing various sectors, including trading, manufacturing, building activity and contracting.
Small businesses total around 180 and their capital varies from QR250,000 to QR5m, while their bigger counterparts are about a hundred with their capital base starting from QR20m and above.
Although the number of the businesses run by women is fairly large, QCCI officials admit it is less than five per cent of the total number of companies registered with them.
According to a local Arabic daily, in Kuwait and the UAE, for instance, the situation is entirely different as businesswomen are a force to reckon with. They have a fair share, if not a dominant position, in the local trade and industry.
Businesswomen in these GCC countries have been able to successfully take on the challenges fighting their way up in trading and manufacturing, while their Qatari counterparts have been lagging behind.
The daily quoted a Qatari woman entrepreneur, Mona Al Sulaiti, as saying that traditions and customs limit their chances of progress in business. The role of women in the national economy, thus, remains restricted.
“We need a supportive environment to flourish in business. At the same time, we need to be creative and think of new business ideas to have a competitive edge,' she commented.
There is, therefore, the need to break those traditions and customs which are illogical and baseless, she stressed.
Ibtehag Al Ahmedani, another prominent businesswoman and lone member of the QCCI's board, said women's participation in national and economic development was a must in order to create social balance.
There are a number of women who are active in the private sector. They are competent businesswomen, she said.
Yet another businesswoman, Samir Fakhri, in remarks to the daily, urged her ilk to gain experience from men in managing big businesses, particularly in the industrial and contracting sector where females have not been able to make much of the mark. – TradeArabia News Service