Equal Opportunities in the Workplace

Bahrain began addressing the low level of Bahraini women’s participation in the Kingdom’s development in 1975. Several international conferences followed focusing on the issue, with several initiatives launched to make women’s participation more common and accepted by society. There was growing interest in the adoption of new ideas about the roles of both men and women, moving beyond merely looking at women playing a part in development into considering them an essential force, capable of change, progress, and improvement.

Equal Opportunities Committees in the Public Sector

Government entities formed 45 Equal Opportunity Committees in the government sector following the issuance of Civil Service Bureau Decision No. (4) of 2014 (Arabic only). These committees incorporate women’s needs as a natural part of equal opportunities in all areas of labour, and work towards realizing equal opportunity principles among all employees, beneficiaries, and services in coordination with the Supreme Council for Women (SCW). The committees express their opinions on issues related to the mainstreaming of women’s needs and instituting them as a natural part of the principle of equal opportunity.

Equal Opportunity Committees set controls, standards, and aimed at mainstreaming women’s needs. They follow up on their implementation and provide consultation, in coordination with the Supreme Council for Women (SCW) and the Civil Service Bureau (CSB), if required, and in accordance with CSB specializations as outlined in its rules and regulations for the following areas:

  • Promoting equal opportunities between employees in terms of recruitment, training, scholarship, and career advancement, while ensuring the mainstreaming of working women’s needs.
  • Mainstreaming of women's needs and creating equal opportunities when it comes to the policies, plans and budgets of government agencies.
  • Building the capacities of employees while mainstreaming women’s needs and instituting them as a natural part of the principle of equal opportunity.
  • Improving the status of women and their working environments within government organizations and overcoming the obstacles they face.
  • Supporting the efforts of the Supreme Council for Women (SCW) in promoting equal opportunity principles and the integration of women's needs into government entities’ programs according to the National Plan for the Advancement of Bahraini Women.
  • Achieving equal opportunities for all beneficiaries of services provided by government entities.

Equal Opportunity Committees in the Private Sector

The private sector employs a high number of Bahraini women and plays an important role in the activation of the National Model for the mainstreaming of women’s needs. Several businesses have undertaken initiatives to mainstream women’s needs, as evident by their high levels of participation in the Award of Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa for the Advancement of Bahraini Women, which includes a category for the private sector.

Many private companies have incorporated equal opportunity principles within their policies, offering support services to their female employees. The Supreme Council for Women's successful efforts to mainstream women’s needs are evident by initiatives announced by certain private companies, and the positive effect they have had on their performance. The Supreme Council for Women (SCW) also works to reduce unemployment among Bahraini women by encouraging self-employment and initiatives that promote their participation in the private sector.

The SCW is working on a plan aimed at enhancing equal opportunities even further, thereby strengthening the Kingdom’s global rankings in this area. It will also enable the private sector to support women’s causes through civil society institutions, stemming from social responsibility and taking the interests of business owners into consideration.

Mainstreaming women’s needs in the private sector helps to raise awareness and win the confidence of decision-makers and employees in the sector. It promotes the principles of equal opportunity and has resulted in many success stories. It also helps to identify the issues and concerns of working women and create solutions.

For more information on equal opportunities for women (Arabic only) in the Kingdom’s legislative fields and civil society.


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Content Last Updated: 12 Sep, 2023

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