The approval of the Unified Family Law is the culmination of a decade of efforts to secure comprehensive legislation which protects Bahraini families from both the Sunni and Shia communities. The result is that all Bahrainis now have equal access to justice concerning personal issues like marriage, divorce, child custody and inheritance rights.
After blocs of MPs in previous parliaments blocked progress to this end, it was particularly important to see this measure approved by more than two-thirds of MPs in the elected chamber, representing all segments of Bahrain’s diverse society.
The Bahrain Women’s Union, the Supreme Council for Women, Shura MPs, women’s rights activists, as well as the Bahrain Government itself, have all played significant roles in bringing us to where we are today. The Unified Family Law comes hot on the heels of other valuable legislation, such as Bahrain’s enhanced accession to the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Domestic Violence Law, passed in 2015.
These are all important milestones in enhancing the rights and freedoms of Bahraini women and families and we can be jointly proud of these achievements.