Gulf airlines defend policy on conditions for women

Qatar Airways is “worst for women’s rights among airlines”

Qatar Airways and Emirates are defending their employment policies regarding pregnancy and marriage for cabin crew after the Qatar carrier was attacked for its working conditions.

The International Transport Workers’ Federation is running a campaign attacking Qatar Airways for alleged monitoring its staff and for its rules preventing women from getting married or pregnant.

On Saturday, International Women’s Day, the federation called on women around the world to speak out against the airline.

“The treatment of workers at Qatar Airways goes further than cultural differences. They are the worst for women’s rights among airlines,” Gabriel Mocho, civil aviation secretary at the international grouping of transport unions, told Reuters news agency.

Last year, a Swedish newspaper published an article called “The truth about the luxury of Qatar Airways”, which described restrictions on cabin crew.

At ITB Berlin, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al Baker hit back at questions about the article, saying that Qatar was being attacked because it had won the right to host the 2022 soccer World Cup. Qatar has been criticised for poor treatment of migrant workers in building World Cup facilities.

Qatar Airways contracts forbid cabin crew members, almost all of whom are women, from marrying during the first five years of employment. Emirates’ policy instructs female cabin crew who become pregnant in the first three years to leave the company.

Al Baker said: “You know, they have come there to do a job and we make sure that they are doing a job, that they give us a good return on our investment.”


[pictured: Qatar Airways Dreamliner; courtesy Qatar Airways]

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