Advancement of Bahraini Women


Based on the National plan for the advancing of Bahraini women I would like to talk about the goal of Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life.

The kingdom of Bahrain has continued its efforts on build sustainable foundations of empowerment of women, the constitution and applicable legislation adhering to practical mechanisms based on creating alliances and partnership to implement the national strategy for the advancement and empowerment of Bahraini women in accordance with a scientific methodology to measure effects and progress made in the field of women and the integration of their needs in the development that aim to:

  • Ensure equal opportunity in all work, political, and economic field.
  • Achieve equal partnership with all sector and industry.
  • Build sustainable competitive society.

Results and achieved indicators (1)

Support of the participation of women in decision making process is one of the priorities that given a significant in consolidating the status of Bahraini women, methods and work programs were adopted to contribute to the achievement of this objective. In my opinion there are two main steps has been started and support the Bahraini women toward this matter:

  1. In 2002 the supreme council of women

Which is launched as series of initiatives projects that aimed at the empowerment of women in decision making process and empowerment in political participation.

  1. In 2014 equal opportunity committees

start working under supervision of Civil Service Bureau to ensure and apply the strategy plan for equal opportunity in public sectors work field.


Women percentage in leadership position

Position Women Men % of Women % of Men
Ministers and Ministerial Ranks 3 46 6% 94%
Under Secretary and Under Secretary Rank 7 35 17% 83%
Council of Representatives 3 37 7.5% 92.5%
Shura Council 9 31 22.5% 77.5%
Municipal Council 3 27 10% 90%
Capital Secretariat 5 5 50% 50%


Results and numbers

  • The ratio of Bahraini women employed in the public sector rose from 42% in 2009 to 47% in 2013
  • The ratio of females to total Bahraini manpower in the private sector rose from 29.7% in 2008 to 30.07% in 2013
  • In 2014 women filled 22% of seats of the board of directors of Bahrain chamber of commerce and industry
  • Average wages of Bahraini females in the private sector rose from BD 423 in 2009 to BD 488 in 2013


On other legal measure and indictors that support the empowerment of Bahraini women enforcement of participation of Bahraini constitution

  • Citizens, both men and women, are entitled to participate in public affairs and may enjoy political rights, including the right to vote and to stand for elections

Paragraph (e) of Article (1) of Bahrain constitution

  • The state guarantees reconciling the duties of women towards the family with their work in society, and their equality with men in political, social, cultural, and economic spheres without breaching the provisions of Islamic Sharia.

Paragraph (b) of Article (5)

Also on practicing Political rights, it’s clear that

  • all citizens, men and women, have the right to express their opinions in every referendum held in accordance with the constitution and elect members of parliament.

Article (1) of Law by Decree No. (14) for 2002

Main challenge in empowerment of Bahraini women in Economic and decision making process

  • Increase and improve support service in the business environment to ensure that the women fulfill their obligations to their family and society specially in private sector.
  • Creation of flexible for part time jobs or home based employment.
  • Enhance and improve the legislations and labor law to support women in all work field.


To face the main challenges, improve and increase the empowerment level of Bahraini women I suggest some practical steps (indictors) that help to rise the potential enforcement:

  • Give more attention on the proportion of leadership and managerial positions held by Bahraini women.
  • Apply quota systems in election and parliament councils.
  • Start a Series of awareness and training program that support women empowerment and identify the important of women participations.
  • Review / amend labor law to suit women in privet and public sectors.

All these steps consider as indicators in qualitative and quantities measure by numbers of seats held by Bahraini women and the quality of awareness and training campaign etc.

Conclusion and Recommendations

To ensure that the objective of advancement of Bahraini women that needs by promoting the principle of equal opportunities is achieved through effective implementation, several steps have been taken to introduce and activate the National Plan for the Advancement of Bahraini women (2013-2022), also I recommend that to measure an impact of all projects and initiatives. Applying quota for women in some work industries and in political council’s representation must taken into consideration.


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