Conscription Law to be enforced in Qatar
Qatari men, between the ages of 18 to 35, now have to serve in the military for a few months according to the draft law that has been approved by the government, according to the Qatar News Agency.
A first in Qatar, the proposed legislation makes it mandatory for graduate men to serve for three months in the military and for non-graduates to serve for four months.
The four-month term would apply to Qatari men who have not attended school, college or university, and those who did attend but did not complete high school after crossing the age of 21. It is not clear as to what the wages will be, and in what way can those with disability and single sons can receive exception from service.
Qatar’s aim is to enhance the country’s defence preparedness with this initiative. Kuwait is also one of the other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries that is looking to implement conscription. Kuwaiti men between the ages of 18 to 35 will have to undergo military training and serve in one of the army’s units just as in Qatar. However, the Kuwaiti conscription draft met some resistance from a group of lawyers who felt women should also be included in the law to promote gender equality.
Others countries in the GCC such as the UAE, Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia do not have such laws. To enroll in the military is a voluntary choice in these countries.
In the recent past, views about conscription laws in the GCC have been diverse. Some feel that while mandatory military service ensures readiness of the nation’s defences, it also tackles underemployment of its citizens.
[Photo courtesy: Isabell Schulz via Flickr]