NU-Q Research

Qatari women: Engagement and empowerment

Project Description

This study aims to understand the drivers and obstacles of women’s empowerment in Qatar, through studying Qatari women directly through quantitative (survey) and qualitative (participant-observation ethnographic, audiovisual) methods. It focuses on female participation in “women’s gatherings” (majlis al-hareem) and its consequences for outward engagement.

Research findings are presented by both a documentary film and a museum installation, in order to engage as many citizens as possible. In addition, both forms of communicating the evidence found by the study is also used for reaching out to the global community through film and art festivals. This unique project is actively combatting the outside world’s stereotypes and myths of women in the region. It strongly aligns with Qatar’s national vision and development goals for the economic and social empowerment of its female citizens.


Jocelyn Sage Mitchell, Christina Paschyn, Kirsten Pike

Collaborating Institutions

Qatar University—SESRI (PI Justin Gengler), VCUArts Qatar (PI Sadia Mir), Texas A&M-Qatar (PI Tanya Kane)


Qatar National Research Fund - Undergraduate Research Experience Program (UREP 15-035-5-013)


Mitchell, J. S., and Gengler, J. J. (2019). “What Money Can’t Buy: Wealth, Inequality, and Economic Satisfaction in the Rentier State.” Political Research Quarterly 72 (1): 75–89.

Mir, S., and Paschyn, C. M. (2018). "Qatar’s Hidden Women: Symbolic Annihilation and Documentary Media Practice."Visual Communication Quarterly 25 (2): 93–105.

Pike, K. (2018). “Mediating the Majlis: Arab Girls’ Documentaries about ‘Women’s Gatherings’ in Qatar.” In Blue, M.G. and Kearney, M.C. (Eds.), Mediated Girlhoods: New Explorations of Girls’ Media Culture, Vol. 2, 193–211. New York: Peter Lang.

Gengler, J. J., and Mitchell, J. S. (2018). “A Hard Test of Individual Heterogeneity in Response Scale Usage: Evidence from Qatar International Journal of Public Opinion Research 30 (1): 102–124.

Monir, M. (2017). "Examining the Gender Gap: Where are the Educated Qatari Women in the Workforce?" Northwestern Undergraduate Research Journal, Vol. 12, pp. 76–83.

Mitchell, J. S., Foley, S., Moritz, J., and Carvalho Pinto, V. (2016). “Space: Female Space: Arabian Peninsula.” In Joseph, S. (Ed.), Encylopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, Supplement 14.

Al Sulaiti, T. (2015, December). “Majlis Al Hareem: Part of Civil Society?” Northwestern Undergraduate Research Journal

Al Khulaifi, N., Abduljawad, S., Al-Mesnad, D., Al-Thani, N., and Al-Thani, R. (2015, November). “Her Majlis.” FilmFest, Middle East Studies Association, Denver, CO.

Kane, T., Paschyn, C., Mir, S., Hill, L., Abduljawad, S., Al-Khulaifi, N., Al-Kuwari, R., Al-Mazroei, R., Al-Mousawi, F., Al-Thani, J., Al-Thani, M., Hassan, A., and Ojjeh, Z. (2015, September–October). “Her Majlis” exhibition. Hamad bin Khalifa University Student Center Art Gallery, Education City, Doha, Qatar.

Mitchell, J. S., Paschyn, C., Mir, S., Pike, K., and Kane, T. (2015). "In majaalis al-hareem: The complex professional and personal choices of Qatari women.DIFI Family Research and Proceedings