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Doha: Women in Qatar are generally stereotyped as spendthrifts but many — especially wives, are increasingly sharing the financial responsibilities of their families. Given the high cost of living and the need to be at par with the social standards, it is not possible to manage family budgets with a single person’s earnings, Al Arab quoted many women as saying.
Family expenses particularly see an increase during summers, where travelling abroad is seen almost as a necessity by families, the daily saidd.
Areej Masood, who works for a bank, said that previously many looked down on women who worked, and more so on men whose wives shared financial responsibilities, but the social trends in Qatar have changed.
“There is nothing wrong in wives sharing the burden of their husbands. If it becomes difficult to manage a household with just your husband’s salaries, wives should help them out,” Masood said.
She added that the family budgets fluctuate during Ramadan and Eid holidays where buying gifts for relatives can be an expensive affair. “At times, we spend more than QR5,000 on gifts,” she said.
Finding a job can also be a very tiring and difficult for housewives.
Umme Hadi recently lost her job, and now all the responsibility is on the shoulders of her husband.
Her home budget faced crisis because of extra expenditure in summer holidays, Ramadan and then Eid.
“It is generally believed that women spend all their money on personal things that they don’t even require, but that is not true. Many women are now supporting their spouses in the best of their capacity, depending on their financial situation,” said the mother of two.
“I couldn’t travel to Syria this year because with the prices of ticket, lodging, and then gifts, we require a lot of extra money,” Umme Hadi said.
Yet there are also some women who spend as much as QR12,000 in one day when shopping for clothes and accessories. They find it impossible to save any money from their salaries.
“In one day I spend more than QR12,000 on shopping. I feel the need to buy a new Abaya (traditional attire worn by Arab women) for every day of work. I also like to buy gold and diamond jewellery and precious watches. I don’t know what a saving policy is. I’m very well off financially so I don’t need to worry about what to buy and what not to,” Asma Al Abduallah said.
She has been to Europe for vacations twice this year she is planning another vacation during Eid Al Adha holidays.
Maryum Mohammad, a teacher in an independent school, said that all salary is spent on shopping because it is her hobby.
“I cannot save anything. Sometimes only three-fourth of my salary remains even before the month has ended. In the last three months she spent on average 12,000 on shopping for personal items,” she said.