'Women Are Second-Class Citizens': Qatari Domestic Abuse Runaway Speaks up About Oppression in Her Country

Published January 21st, 2020 - 10:43 GMT
'Qatari Woman Is a Second-Class Citizen': Qatari Woman Speaks up About Oppression in Her Country and Receives Threats.
'Qatari Women Are Second-Class Citizens': Qatari Woman Speaks up About Oppression in Her Country (Shutterstock/Albawaba)

A runaway Qatari woman who tweeted about living under oppression for 22 years in her home country received wide attention. Several days later, Aisha Al-Qahtani, who ran away after allegedly being abused, revealed that members of her family and the Qatari government have been trying to track her, saying that she doesn't feel safe.

Translation: "Salvador is Aisha Al-Qahtani, I am a Qatari woman who loves her country but has spent 22 years living under Qatari laws which give males in the family all the authority, laws that crush victims of domestic violence and force them to give up their rights. I stand here after I've survived all of this and I speak up about my experience and experiences of many other women."

Translation: "I don't feel safe at all. Some are trying to locate me, including people from the embassy or my family, the police have told me. Anyways, if you don't hear from me on Twitter for a few days, I hope it's investigated and that whoever did it is held accountable. I feel sick every time I remember that in this day and age, women are still chased and threatened for merely choosing to be free."

In a detailed thread, Aisha Al-Qahtani explained that women in Qatar don't enjoy the same rights as men and that Qatari laws still treat women as minors and as subservient to their families. She also talked about women suffering from social pressure and bias and said that Arab women are never safe from being killed, as "women's blood isn't valuable in the Arab states."

Briefly, Al-Qahtani talked about being shocked by the carelessness shown by government institutions she asked for support as a victim of domestic violence. Aisha concluded that now she looks forward to being a voice for marginalized and oppressed women who are considered "second class citizens" in their own countries.

Shortly after her tweet, social media exploded with reactions, many of which were supportive. People sent well wishes hoping for her safety and freedom to continue living her life freely wherever she chooses to live.

Translation: "Problem is that many people in our society still have a surface-level understanding of issues. When a girl abandons her a mother they always think that she's wrong. They never assume that her mother could have been a dangerous psychopath who could ruin her children's lives or kill them. We are still way far behind when it comes to these issues."

Translation: Qatari women are so helpless and can be easily insulted by males who unleash their inner monsters and commit all sorts of violent actions. Issuing laws that ensure the protection of victims of domestic violence is now urgent more than ever. I wish you the best of luck."

Translation: "I'm so proud of you Aisha, I hope all women can one day enjoy feelings of safety, dignity and having full rights.'

Meanwhile others accused her of making up allegations to smear Qatar.

Some attacked Aisha, arguing that Qatari laws treat women as equals and that Qatari women "have been able to achieve lots of success."

Translation: "Ms. Aisha, can you please tell us more about the oppressive laws in Qatar? Qatari policies have enabled women to become lawyers, doctors, judges, engineers, prosecutors, athletes, descision-makers, leaders, women are in the military and the police force, they're pilots of civil and military jets, teachers, ministers, nurses, they can drive cars, they're businesswomen, and diplomats, presenters on TV and radio shows, actresses and designers. Women are in every aspect of Qatari life. Can you show us one example of a law that oppresses women in Qatar?

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