Bahrain: Women's Union Vows to Push for Family Status Law

Gulf News via WUNRN
The Bahrain Women's Union, a loose association of 12 women's organisations, has pledged to reinvigorate a dormant plan to promulgate a family status law in the kingdom.
The union said at a press conference on Saturday that it would table its new proposal after bringing together all concerned parties at a workshop next month to issue recommendations on the law.
"We will hold a symposium for representatives from the civil society, lawyers, religious leaders and independent activists to assess past efforts to have the law," Mariam Al Rowaie, head of the Bahrain Women's Union, said.

Bahrain has been sharply divided over promulgating a status law that would govern family relations and ensure greater rights for women and mothers.

Conservatives have opposed the law, saying that it would clash with Islamic precepts and would upset social family order.

But activists say that the law is needed to address family injustices and help women and children with their rights instead of placing their situations at the discretion of court judges who have no formal text to guide them on the verdicts.

The union added that it would also push for the introduction of a quota system in the Bahraini elections to help women win.

(26 March 2007)