Babies behind bars: The women who go to jail in Qatar just for getting pregnant


This week, I wrote a pretty hard-hitting piece for Doha News about the fate of women in Qatar who give birth to illegitimate babies. If they do so, they’re breaking the law, and they receive a guaranteed jail sentence, which they serve with their babies.

For the piece, I spoke to one woman who is currently on the run in Qatar after giving birth to a baby girl eight months ago out of wedlock. She will inevitably have to hand herself in and serve her sentence.  I also include an extract from a desperate email I received last year from a woman in similar situation, who’s now also in jail. It was this email which sparked off my investigation.

Let me know what you think of the article.

Credit: Photo for illustrative purposes by Angela Randall


3 thoughts on “Babies behind bars: The women who go to jail in Qatar just for getting pregnant”

  1. I am shocked by this act of another era. It seems that for everything related to the person Qatar struggling to be modern. 100 women per year is not an accident or misunderstanding. And then there is this child born in prison and live there for a year it is a very bad start.

    As with the evolution of labor law changes the law on imprisonment of women for childbirth outside marriage deserves to be changed.

  2. It sounds very similar to what I experienced in Saudi in the ’80s. There are three classes of people. First, the locals, second, the western expats and third (but so far third as to be almost out of sight) expats from developing countries.

  3. This have been so shocking for me, a society punishing women for an action carried by both “men and women”. I would like to know if there is any way to help this ladies in their difficult situation by providing goods or first need articles to their babies. Anybody know if there is any chance to visit them if you are not family or diplomatic.

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