Bahraini women are considered a driving force of the country’s different sectors. Women have taken a leading role in developing the Kingdom’s economy following the National Action Charter of 2001 where they were given equal rights as part of the King’s reform process.
The Charter is represented a stepping stone that has led Bahraini women to new horizons on the social, political and economic levels. The inclusion of women as a driving force of the economy has led to several developments, it was recently announced that Bahraini women represent 49% of the workforce in 2020, hence crossing the global average of 47%.
The Supreme Council for Women recently announced that the percentage of Bahraini women in executive positions has also increased to 46%. The development of the status of women during the past two decades comes in line with the United Nation’s sustainable development goals. The strategies put in place to empower women have led to fruitful outcomes that are reflected in the policies and inclusion of women in decision making posts in the country’s different sectors.
Bahrain laid the ground for creating a hospitable environment for women in the workforce. Amendments were made to traditional laws such as the law preventing women from night shift jobs, imposing longer work breaks for women with special needs and a ban on unequal pay have all played a vital role in strengthening the presence of women in the work force.
Following the pandemic, Bahraini women’s inclusion in public life has also been warranted by a decision to allow women to work from home, in addition to remote working for pregnant women in the public sector. The challenges created by the global pandemic has also led Bahrain to providing the husbands of first line female workers a priority for remote working, as a support for their wives.
As part of Bahrain’s policies towards ensuring family protection, 147 legislations and laws were changed and introduced including the family protection law. The national strategy for family violence was put in place and implemented. A public prosecution for families and children and offices for the protection of women and children were established in all of Bahrain’s police centers.
These steps are an indicator of Bahrain’s progressive policies that protect women’s rights and ensure their involvement as equal partners in the development of the nation. The continuous advancement of Bahraini women on all levels has promoted equality and reflects their capability in being competent partners in developing and leading the nation.