They would also be punished if I stayed with them," said Ann.Her employer also initiated coordination with the police to find the man who had gotten her pregnant.She knew about the country's conservative culture and had a vague idea about "boyfriends being forbidden" but she had no idea that she could go to jail for being pregnant and unmarried.Criminalizing sex Under Qatari law, if she did not marry, Ann could be charged with the crime of zina, which is defined as any act of illicit sexual intercourse between a man and a woman."Zina is indiscriminately carried out and disproportionately punishes women, mostly low-skilled migrant women," Rothna Begum, HRW women's rights researcher for the Middle East and North Africa, told DW.Ann's employer was aware of these laws and tried their best to help her.
() Migrant domestic workers in Qatar are powerless in the face of widespread abuse, according to Amnesty International.It is based on Islamic legal tradition that treats any sexual contact outside a legal marriage as a crime.Read more: Qatar Airways says it will stop sacking women who get pregnant According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), most zina cases happen in the Gulf and overwhelmingly, it is women who are charged with the crime.She still sees the man she calls her husband, but their relationship has become cold and awkward. The region's economic woes have seen thousands of Filipino expat workers sent back and owed unpaid wages.She will go back to the Philippines but is uncertain how she will now support her two other children from a past relationship. () Women working with Qatar Airways will not be sacked anymore if they get pregnant or marry within the first five years of employment.