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By Fazeena Saleem
DOHA: Qatar has achieved most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets ahead of the 2015 deadline with an increase in women empowerment and gender equality which remained as a challenge in the past, according a report released by the Qatar Statistics Authority (QSA) yesterday.
Women empowerment had remained as the only area which showed drawbacks in previous report.
The fourth report released yesterday indicates that women empowerment too has shown a development along with the other goals.
The MDGs which were set by the UN member states in 2000, include fighting poverty, hunger and illiteracy, HIV/Aids, malaria and other diseases, reducing child and maternal mortality, achieving environmental sustainability, gender equality, and global partnership for development.
“This is the fourth report released on the MDGs. Development goals required particular steps by the government and had been met two years before time,” said Hamad bin Jabor bin Jassim Al Thani, President, QSA, at a press conference held to release the report.
Qatari women represented 37 percent which is more than one- third of Qatari employees in the private sector in 2011. The representation was only 20 percent in 2010.
Qatari women have entered the financial investment sector and represent 50 percent of the total shareholders in the Qatar Exchange-listed companies. They own at least 3,500 companies in specialised fields such as banking, tourism and trade.
The literacy level of Qatari women exceeded the proportion of literate males in the age group of 15-24 years between 1986 and 2011. At least 75 percent women are literate in 2011.
Qatari women’s participation in the labour force has increased from 30 percent in 2001 to 35 percent in 2008.
However, participation of women in the non-agricultural sector declined from 29 percent in 2001 to 12 percent in 2011. Also there were only 3.4 percent women representatives among the Central Municipal Council members in 2011, which was the same as in 2003.
The report was prepared by the QSA and the Diplomatic Institute. The repot showed Qatar’s achievements in reaching other areas mentioned in MDGs.
In poverty and hunger eradication targets, it said the high living standards in the country rule out the possibility of finding persons with ‘one-dollar income or suffering from hunger.’
Qatar’s literacy rates touched 99 percent among males and females in 2009 and students who enroll in grade one complete school education. The mortality rate among children under the age of five declined from 17 per 1,000 live births in 1990 to nine per 1,000 live births in 2011. And every child is immunised against measles.
Maternal mortality was 16 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2005 and averaged 12.9 deaths in 2010 per 100,000 live births.
HIV/Aids cases were very rare in the period between 1990 and 2011, and no one was infected with the disease in 2010 between the age of 15 and 24.