|Call to review women’s rights|
By REBECCA TORR
BAHRAIN could be forced to pass a family law and other new regulations if the country lifts reservations it has to a UN convention on discrimination against women, say campaigners.
Bahrain joined the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 2002, but submitted several reservations due to conflict with Sharia law, traditions and Islamic principles.
Since then women’s activists and human rights groups have been campaigning for Bahrain to lift these reservations, saying women were still getting a raw deal.
“The implementation of CEDAW in Bahrain is not at the level it should be,” Awal Women’s Society and Bahrain Human Rights Society member and former president Dr Sabika Al Najjar told the GDN.
“If CEDAW is implemented in the correct way it means the state should review all the laws and regulations regarding women’s rights to see which points are discriminatory and then they should implement new regulations for women.
“It should reform justice in education, health, at work and in issuing the family law.
“It should also make sure people and society are aware and convinced of the treaties and any social discrimination should be removed.
“I believe any development of women and any change in their status will develop the whole of the society because women are vital – they are the centre of the family.”
Bahrain has five reservations on the optional protocol of the CEDAW, which refer to articles two, nine, 15, 16 and 29.
l Article two, paragraph two, states that a country should condemn all types of discrimination against women
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