Bahrain Grants Nationality to Children of Non-Bahraini Fathers

Published December 13th, 2011 - 12:00 GMT
The Supreme Council for Women has been an avid campaigner of women empowerment in Bahrain.
The Supreme Council for Women has been an avid campaigner of women empowerment in Bahrain.

King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa has granted the Bahraini nationality to 335 people born to Bahraini mothers and foreign fathers.

The decision was hailed by the Supreme Council for Women (SCW), a staunch campaigner of women empowerment.

Under Bahrain's citizenship laws, Bahraini mothers cannot transfer their nationality to their children.

"We do hope that such official efforts will result in amending the Citizenship Law in accordance with objective regulations and criteria and will contribute to achieving security and stability for women and Bahraini families," the SWC said.

The Council, chaired by Princess Sabeeka Bint Ebrahim Al Khalifa, Bahrain's First Lady, is celebrating its tenth anniversary on Wednesday.

In 2006, King Hamad granted the Bahraini nationality to 273 children born to Bahraini mothers and foreign fathers.

In 2009, he ordered that non-Bahraini wives of Bahraini nationals and that the children born to Bahraini mothers and foreign fathers be exempted from paying government fees for health and education services. They were also exempted from fees related to residence permits.

The SCW and several women's rights activists have been pushing for elevating the status of women in the country by granting them more rights.

By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief


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