This alert was banned from publishing in Bahraini local newspapers:
An Open Letter on the World Women's Day
A letter to the spouse of the King of Bahrain Sheikha/ Sabika Ibrahim Al Khalifa, President of the Supreme Women's Council
Our best wishes from the honest citizens, we convey to you their hopes and inspirations which all what is left from it now is only a fading image, due to the continuous rejection of their demands, which encouraged them at the end to call to dismantle the Supreme Women's Council for the following reason:
1- its becoming clear that the Council by time is becoming a place to employ the daughters of the ruling family, and to make a good use of the job's expenses.
2- The Council falls under the supervision of and the strategy of the Royal Divan. It was obvious in the last elections, and the negative stand adopted by the Council concerning the Personal Status Law, the last assaults on women at the Prosecutor's Office and attacking houses which was in consistency with the famous report of Dr Salah El Bandar.
3- Its also clear from the structure of the Council, and the repetition of the same faces, that the Council is dominated by the women of the ruling family in addition to women from families affiliated with the Royal Family who are trying to gain favor and personal interests.
4- The Council is based on discrimination between women in the society, as the women of the ruling family don’t fall under the rulings of the Legal (Sharyia) Court like other common women of this country.
5- The Council records since its establishment and till now proved failure in many fields including:
1- The Council failed in tackling the economic file to enable women to work in different fields including the judiciary
2- Concerning the social field, the Council failed to lobby against the passing of a personal status law which was proposed by the Royal Divan and it was used to gain favor of the religious fundamentalists on the expense of women's rights.
3- The Council failed politically to enable any female cadres to join the judiciary, with the exception of Latifa Kawood, who was supported by the Minister of the Royal Divan based on political interests.
4- The Council turned the deaf ear to the assaults on the Bahraini women, such as the arbitrary trials against the Women's Petition Committee, the assaults on women at the Prosecutor's Office by the hands of the police and Sadam Martyrs Militias under the supervision of the Minister of the Royal Divan Sheikh Khaled Ben Ahmed Al Khalifa, despite that all their demands are legal and legitimate.
5- The negative stand of the Council concerning the spread of prostitution due to the deteriorating economic and living standards.
6- The silence of the Council concerning the harassments against journalists and women activists preventing them from publishing in local newspapers to be easy form your Council to fake the truth.
What we mentioned here is a black spot in the history of your feminist Council in our beloved country. Its clear from the report of Dr Bandar and from the stand of your Council the severity of the conspiracy against women's rights. We declare our rejection to all forms of discrimination against the feminist movement, and we call upon you to dismantle the Council to open the way in front of the victims of the violations to represent themselves and to defend their rights inside the country and abroad, based on their beliefs in their natural and human rights as two motives towards their political, social and human rights activism.
Head of the Women's Petition Committee
8 March 2008
Kingdom of Bahrain