GENEVA: United Nations experts on Monday urged the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to give women the same nationality rights as men and called for equal rights between the sexes in marriage and divorce.
The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) voiced its concerns following a fourth periodic review of the United Arab Emirates.
CEDAW is a body of 23 independent experts that monitors the implementation of the treaty on ending discrimination against women.
“The committee expressed concern about numerous provisions of the Personal Status Law that discriminate against women and girls, particularly the de jure retention of male guardianship, the persistence of polygamy, and the limited grounds for divorce available to women,” it said.
“It recommended that the state party undertake a comprehensive legislative review to provide women with equal rights in marriage, family relations, divorce and with regard to property and custody of children.”
The experts were also concerned that women in the UAE did not have the same right as men to pass on their nationality to their children.
They urged the country to grant Emirati women “equal rights to acquire, change and retain their nationality and to confer it on their children and foreign spouses”.
Committee member Lia Nadaraia told reporters in Geneva that the UAE had made “big progress” since 2015 and the last periodic review and hoped that the body´s recommendations this time would also be accepted.
She also said the UAE was “very competent and very prepared” when taking the issues into account.