No women elected in Qatar's first legislative ballot

No women elected in Qatar's first legislative ballot
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Qatar voters elected none of the 26 women who were candidates in the country’s first legislative elections on Saturday, Reuters reported.

The women were among the candidates campaigning for the 30 open positions in the 45-seat advisory Shura Council, which has limited power as an advisory chamber to the emir, according to France24.com.

The emir will appoint 15 new members of the body that can approve certain policies in the country, according to Reuters. 

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Several woman candidates have been campaigning for improved integration of children of female citizens who are married to foreigners. 

Just like other Gulf countries, female citizens married to foreigners cannot pass their Qatari nationality to their children, Reuters reported. 

Doha's Markhiya district candidate Aisha Hamam al-Jasim told the news agency that she has been urging women to vote during the election cycle, adding that having an all-male council is not the future for Qatar. 

"For the first time in Qatar, this is the opportunity to take part in the political," she said. 

Even with Qatar’s government introducing new reforms expanding women’s rights, advocacy groups still criticize the country for keeping its guardianship system, where a woman needs permission from a man to marry, travel and access reproductive health care, Reuters noted. 

Male candidate Sabaan Al Jassim told Reuters that while he supports women running for office, he still believes women should be primary caretakers for their families. 

"They are here, they have their fingerprint and they have their vote and a voice," Jassim said. "But most important is in the house, to take care of the kids with the families."