The Bahraini Women’s Day exposes the repression of the Bahraini regime and its discriminatory policies in light of its suffering as a result of the violations it is exposed to and depriving it of its most basic rights.
International human rights organizations assert that legislation in Bahrain is still discriminatory and fails to address the necessary reforms to achieve equality.
The government passed legislation in 2015 to provide resources for reporting domestic violence, of which women are often the first victims.
Journalist and human rights defender, Naziha Saeed, stressed that Bahraini women, as in other Gulf countries, suffer the same violations, and women cannot marry without a guardian’s permission.
Saeed pointed out that women in some cases in Bahrain cannot grant citizenship to their children, travel or live alone.
She pointed out that a major obstacle women face is nationality law, which prevents the mother from granting citizenship to her children. This is a topic that activists in Bahrain focus on and the demand to abolish Article 353, which allows the rapist to marry the victim to escape punishment in Bahrain.
Saeed explained that the Supreme Council for Women did not assist many women who went to it. In contrast, women’s groups began coordinating, cooperating, and documenting domestic violence and rape issues to confront them.
Recently, Bahraini women institutions announced their refusal to participate in the Bahrain Supreme Council for Women in an international conference because of its role in whitewashing the violations of the ruling regime in Manama.
In a joint press statement, the institutions confirmed that the work system on which the council is based deliberately whitewashes the Bahraini government’s human rights violations in the country, including those related to women.
Duke University professor and founder of the Feminist Studies Program, Frances Hasso, said the obstacles facing Bahraini women are modern and born from the ruling elite’s interests.
Hasso added that “sectarianism pushes towards inequality between men and women in the nationality law, for example, and this is to preserve the system of government.”
Hasso stated that the obstacles of gender and sect work together, especially since 2011, when the conflict between the majority of the people and the ruling family increased.
Bahraini activist and researcher Alaa Al-Shihabi confirmed that the movement in 2011 disrupted the marginalization approach adopted by the state.