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Investigation: Bahrain’s Laws Violate Women’s Rights

Bahrain’s laws flagrantly violate women’s rights and lack equality, whether it is related to work, social life, or even sexuality.

Bahrain has not made any progress on the legal level to achieve equality despite human rights demands for many years.

Laws are still unfair to women, such as family law, inheritance, work, and motherhood. The Family Provisions Law (2009) in Bahrain itself is a clear violation of international laws.

From a human rights perspective, it remains a discriminatory text in terms of Sharia legal rules, especially in the file of divorce, child custody, nationality, and inheritance.

Bahrain is still among the countries that do not give the right to a Bahraini mother to pass citizenship to her children in the event of marriage to a foreigner.

Recently, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights called on the international community to investigate all incidents of killings and violence that claimed the lives of Bahraini women at the hands of the Bahraini authorities, and to hold the perpetrators accountable.

The center addressed the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Nations and the European Union and urged for pressuring Bahrain to immediately and unconditionally release all prisoners of conscience, especially female detainees.

This came in a report published by the center in conjunction with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

The report, issued in both Arabic and English, is titled “Women in Bahrain: Silence Behind Violence”. The Bahrain Center for Human Rights seeks to address the deteriorating human rights situation in Bahrain, especially with regard to the situation of women and children.

The report called for a halt to all forms of targeting, assault and arrest against Bahraini women, especially activists.

It called for an immediate cessation of all physical and psychological torture practices that prisoners are subjected to in interrogation rooms.

The report also calls for an end to the campaign of unfair dismissal that is practiced against Bahraini workers, especially women, and for the return of all dismissed workers to their jobs.

The report indicated that more than 380 women were dismissed from their jobs in the public and private sectors during the National Safety Period in 2011.

The report documented the arrest of more than 333 women, including 11 doctors, pharmacists and nurses, for treating protesters during the 2011 protests.

Among them is Nada Dhaif, a Bahraini doctor who once spoke to Al Jazeera.

The Center indicated that its new report documents how Bahraini women have been prevented from actively engaging in civil society and expressing their political opinion in the struggle for their legitimate rights.

It added: “Human dignity cannot be based on violations of collective and individual rights and freedoms.”

Women’s rights and freedoms need greater protection and a broader guarantee guaranteed by laws and their implementation because they are the easiest target.

“Women are the mirror of society, reflecting the extent of its progress, development and advancement. Women’s rights are not just a human issue, but rather a national issue linked in various intellectual, political and economic fields.” concluded the report.

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