Bahraini Women Seek
Equal Nationality Rights

MANAMA – A signature campaign will soon be launched in Bahrain demanding equal nationality rights for
Bahraini women.

An announcement in this respect was made by the Bahrain’s Women Union at a seminar held on Saturday to discuss the plight of around 2,000 stateless children of Bahraini women married to foreigners.Under the existing law, a child born to a Bahraini father is considered a national right from day one of his birth. In case the wife is a foreigner, she could become a national after five years of marriage. However, the same rights are denied to Bahraini women in case they marry a foreigner.

“The petition should be signed by all those who suffer because of the outdated law that goes against the Convention of Elimination equality between genders,” President of the Union, Maraim Al Ruwai, told the seminar.  of Discriminations Against Women (CEDAW) and the Bahraini constitution that stresses

The petition will call for an immediate amendment to article 4 of the nationality law to give equal rights to men and women in Bahrain. It will also demand an urgent solution to the resident permit issue of children and husbands of such Bahraini women.

At present, the state-run Supreme Council for Women is taking up the resident permit issue of some high-profile cases through seeking an exception from the Ministry of Interior, while the rest of the victims have to fight their case without any help.

“The petition will be given to parliament Speaker Khalifa Al Dahrani in appreciation for tabling a proposal to amend the law in favour of women,” she highlighted.

A Bahraini woman who was deserted by her Saudi husband pointed out that her 32-year-old son who has a bachelor’s degree in engineering, is forced to work at a cold store as all top jobs go to Bahrainis.

A young woman told the seminar that she lost everything after the death of her Syrian husband. She said that employer of her husband refused to give her his pension because he was not a Bahraini national and her children are stateless and without any support.

The seminar was part of an ongoing nationality campaign run by women’s activists and societies to pressure the authorities concerned to amend
the law.


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