International Campaign: Participants at the International Women’s Forum in Dubai should raise the UAE’s violations of women’s rights
The International Campaign for a Boycott of the Emirates (ICBU) said that the participants in the International Women Forum, which opened on Sunday in Dubai, should raise the UAE’s violations of women’s rights and demand that it improve its black human rights record.
The Paris-based international campaign highlighted that the UAE is using hostings such international events as a cover to its grave violations of human rights, particularly the rights of women.
The international campaign condemned the holding of the global forum under the patronage of Dubai’s ruler, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is known for his stained reputation for the treatment of women and the violation of their rights.
Perhaps the escape of Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, the wife of Bint Rashid from her home in Dubai, accompanied by her two children to London, sheds new light on the United Arab Emirates and its discriminatory laws against women.
It should also be mentioned in the cases of two daughters of bin Rashid from different marriages, Sheikha Latifa and Sheikha Shamsa, who were forcibly returned to the Emirates after trying to flee each of them in Dubai in separate incidents and are still stuck in the Emirates without having the right to speak and make their own decisions freely, this includes the right to leave their country whenever they want.
The situation of all Emiratis and other nationalities and domestic workers must also be raised in the Emirates, who often do not have the resources, connections or networks to successfully flee the countries whose laws discriminate against them.
The international campaign indicated that personal status laws in the Emirates deny women the right to make independent decisions regarding marriage. In order for a woman to marry, it is her male guardian who signs her marriage contract. Once she gets married, the law obliges her to “obey” her husband.
A woman may be considered obedient if she works without her husband’s consent. She can lose her right to financial maintenance if she does not have a “legal excuse” to refuse a sexual relationship with the husband or to refrain from traveling abroad with him, or if she “leaves” the marital home, or prevents her husband from entering it.
If a woman decides to divorce her husband, she must apply for a court order, while men are allowed to divorce their wives unilaterally.
Human Rights Watch has previously documented cases in the UAE, where the failure of the police to properly investigate allegations of domestic violence may have resulted in court rulings that are not in the best interests of the children.
The International Campaign for a Boycott of the Emirates (ICBU) warned that the UAE lacks legislation on domestic violence, despite being pressured for this almost a decade ago by the United Nations Committee to track the fulfillment of states’ international legal obligations to protect women from discrimination.
She emphasized that discriminatory personal status laws exacerbate the position of women as second-class citizens in the Emirates, and is able to keep them in abusive relationships. Participants at the International Women’s Forum in Dubai should believe with their slogans to push the authorities to reform these laws while allowing women – including Sheikha Latifa and her sister – to travel freely outside the country whenever they want.