Stand Up to Sexist Airline CEO


Target: Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways

Goal: Urge airline to discontinue its patriarchal, objectifying attitude toward female employees.

Many airline companies stand by the statement that being part of a cabin crew isn’t just a job, it’s truly a way of life. For Qatar Airways though, the phrase is taken so literally and enforced so harshly that many who work for the company describe it as being modern day slavery.

According to recent reports, Qatar Airways has been under fire for its regulations in contracts meant specifically for female employees, which state that the company needs to ‘pre-approve’ of a marriage if any of its flight attendants plan to elope. What’s more is that any flight attendant who ‘applies’ to get married must have already worked for the company for five years. Failing to do so is considered a breach of contract. The airline also stands by its ‘right’ to fire female workers who become pregnant, stating: “The employee shall notify the employer in case of pregnancy from the date of her knowledge of its occurrence. The employer shall have the right to terminate the contract of employment…”

Qatar Airways’ sexist beliefs don’t stop there, either. Its need to control female flight attendants is apparent in many other aspects of cabin life from specially hidden cameras in company accommodations, to a strict curfew which outlines that women are allowed to have visitors in their cabins only until 10 p.m., to a rule that states any female flight attendants caught with ‘revealing photographs’ of themselves on social media are subject to hostility.

CEO Akbar Al Baker supports these questionable contracts fully and although the company employs nearly 28,000 people, 16,000 of whom are labeled as airline employees, they are strictly prohibited from unionizing or striking. These regulations are not only unjust but patronizing, as female flight attendants are treated more like props than actual human beings with rights. By signing this petition you’ll urge Baker to rethink his sexist contracts with female employees and encourage the airline to remember that women have rights.


Dear Akbar Al Baker,

Recently, I was informed of the dehumanizing and ill treatment of female flight attendants employed by your company. Needless to say, I am appalled that you think it correct to deny any woman the right to change her marital status and elope, as if the common practice would somehow have an impact on her job performance. What a worker does in her personal life is in no way of any interest to the company she works for.

Further, your decision to reserve ‘the right’ to fire any flight attendant who becomes pregnant is equally as repelling. A woman can continue to fly until she is 28 weeks pregnant and it should be a choice that she makes without the fear of losing her job looming over her head.

Your apparent need to control your female flight attendants is sexist, and your outlook on the rights of workers (it’s obvious that you believe they should have none), especially those who are women, is patriarchal and antiquated. Although your workers are fearful to stand up to Qatar Airlines’ ridiculous stipulations, I am not. I urge you to consider the exponential burden you place upon your flight attendants and understand that instilling fear in your workers isn’t the way to get them to perform better, or advance as a company. I encourage you to stop this oppressive behavior and stop perpetuating such rigid, chauvinistic guidelines.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: grogri87 via everystockphoto

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