No women candidates elected in Qatar's first legislative pollstext_fields
Disappointing candidates who had wanted to lend a voice for women, voters chose none of the 26 women who stood for election in Qatar's first legislative elections on Saturday, reports Reuters.
The vote was for 30 members of the 45-seat advisory Shura Council, with the Emir continuing to appoint the remaining 15 members of the body which can approve a limited scope of policies for the small but wealthy Gulf country. Political parties are banned in Qatar.
While Qatar has introduced reforms for women's rights in recent years, including allowing women to independently get a driving license, it has been criticised by rights groups for issues like the guardianship system, where a woman needs male permission to marry, travel and access reproductive healthcare.
Naima Abdulwahab al-Mutawa'a, a candidate and foreign ministry worker whose elderly mother came to vote for her, had wanted to press for a body advocating for women and children.
Several female candidates had been seeking to improve the integration of women into Qatari society of children of female citizens married to foreigners who, like in other Gulf states, cannot pass their Qatari nationality to their children.
While Jasim stopped short of advocating for granting passports, fellow candidate Leena al-Dafa called for full citizenship for children in such cases.
Qatar currently has only one female minister: Public Health Minister Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari.