Font Size

- Aa +

Fri 11 Nov 2016 07:14 PM

Font Size

- Aa +

Bahrain to issue second section of family law to allow women more rights

Women in the Gulf state face legal, financial and social difficulties when it comes to family-related issues such as divorce

Bahrain to issue second section of family law to allow women more rights
Bahrain Shura Council and House of Representatives in Manama. (MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH/AFP/Getty Images)

Bahrain has called for the issuance of the second section of the family law in Bahrain in order to reinforce the stability of families and allow women more rights.

The council is open to all proposals and suggestions with regards to the matter, said Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Women Princess Sabeeka Al Khalifa, reported Gulf News.

Speaking at the National Conference for Bahraini Women, she encouraged women’s committees in NGOs and state establishments to take advantage of the opportunity and communicate their views on the new addition to the personal status (family) law which would regulate topics of custody, divorce, engagement and dowry.

Bahrain’s government had submitted a draft of a common law to the parliament in early 2009 but withdrew it after Shiite leaders strongly opposed it. In April the same year, the government reintroduced a similar draft for Sunnis which was then approved.

Despite Shiite activists calling for the same law, religious leaders have opposed the move arguing parliament is not qualified to discuss family matters. They allegedly said only top Shiite leaders such as Iraq-based Ayatollah Al Sistani can legislate such matters.

Women in Bahrain face legal, financial and social difficulties when it comes to family issues such as divorce and custody. While men have the right to divorce immediately, women must seek out a judicial divorce based on a set of reasons.