Qatar allows women to do military service for first time

Law also requires men between ages of 18 and 35 to serve for a year  

Jane Dalton
Friday 06 April 2018 10:54
Qatar's armed forces will include women volunteers
Qatar's armed forces will include women volunteers

Women in Qatar will be allowed to volunteer for national service for the first time, according to state media in the middle eastern country.

Under the new law, which comes into effect immediately, females aged over 18 will be able to volunteer, while all men between the ages of 18 and 35 will now have serve a year instead of three months.

It will be the first time women have been allowed to undertake national service, although some already have administrative roles in the military.

It is not yet known what roles the new volunteers would undertake.

The new law also allows for a national service academy to be established and says men must apply for conscription within 60 days of turning 18, the Qatar News Agency reported.

Conscription for men in the country was introduced in 2013

Anyone caught trying to avoid military service could face up to three years in jail and a fine of up to 50,000 Qatari riyals (£9,800).

The news came as it was announced the emir of Qatar would meet Donald Trump at the White House for talks on strengthening ties between their countries next week.

The US president looked forward to discussing with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani ways to strengthen ties between the two countries and "advance our common security and economic priorities", said White House spokeswoman, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Qatar, a small, gas-rich monarchy has been isolated since early June, when the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and its other neighbours severed ties over claims it was funding Islamist terrorism, disrupting Gulf unity and fostering ties with Saudi’s arch-rival Iran.

Qatar, which rejects the accusations, has claimed the group considered military intervention to resolve the crisis.

The state has subsequently signed several military contracts with countries including Britain, the US, France and Italy since the crisis began.

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