FTA poses challenges for Bahraini working women

Khaleej Times

FTA poses challenges for Bahraini working women

By our correspondent

15 December 2007

MANAMA - Working women in Bahrain are facing many challenges and female activists predict more hardship to come in their way after the full implementation of the Free Trade Agreement between Bahrain and the United States.

A recent study reveals that only 9.9 per cent of top managerial posts in the private sector are occupied by women and they will have to find mechanisms to deal with the tough competition the FTA will bring with its open market policies.

The FTA was implemented last year and is expected to contribute to the economic growth of Bahrain and increase revenues of businesses, but its impact on women is still uncertain, according to the Supreme Council for Women (SCW) that is dedicated to safeguard the interests of women and empower them in all walks in life.

The council, as a government organisation, has assigned the Gulf Centre for Strategic Studies to conduct a study on the effects of the FTA on working women so as to find mechanisms to face the challenges brought by the agreement.

"The study will try to highlight the immediate, short- and long-term effects of the FTA and its open market policies on working women and their skills to face the new challenges," the General Secretary of the SCW, Lulwa Al Awadhi, said. "The study is a follow up to a study conducted last year by the SCW on working women that exposed discrimination against them in the private sector."

source: Khaleej Times