Bahrain

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The situation of women continues to be affected by patriarchal norms and traditions, although women’s rights have been somewhat advanced under the current king.[1] Women’s level of education is often high, but their employment opportunities remain limited.[2] Bahrain’s first report on the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) identifies changing traditional views of the role of women – both in society and the workforce – as a main challenge to be addressed.[3]
Bahrain’s Constitution, which was amended in 2002, provides equal rights to women and men at articles 1 and 5, and bans discrimination on the basis of gender, so long as this is compatible with Sharia law.[4] Bahrain ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 2002, but with reservations to Article 2, on prohibition against discrimination within government policies, particularly in the area of inheritance; the right of a woman to pass her citizenship to her husband and children under Article 9, paragraph 2; a woman’s freedom of movement and choice regarding residence and housing under Article 15, paragraph 4; and equality in marriage and family life under Article 16.[5] It has not yet ratified the Optional Protocol on violence against women.[6]
 

[1] Ahmed (2010) p.59 [2] Ahmed (2010) p.60 [3] UNDP (2003) p.2 [4] CEDAW (2007), p30 5] United Nations Treaty Collection (n.d.) [6] United Nations Treaty Collection (n.d.)
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