UAE denies travel restrictions for women
The CEDAW committee heard from the UAE in Geneva about women’s rights in the UAE. As the UAE were pressed on the issue of travel restrictions, they said that there was no restriction on women’s freedom of movement unless by judicial rulings – ignoring the travel bans that had been placed on human rights defenders wives.
Since the protests of 2011, some human rights defenders have faced travel bans and been unable to leave the UAE. This has included the wives of those human rights defenders. In one case, one activist revealed in an interview with al Araby al Jadeed that his wife had been banned from travelling and prevented from being reunited.
The committee also commented on concerns about gender equality and gender balanced participation in parliament. The committee expressed their disappointment that at the lack of full answers from the UAE delegation.
The committee had hear oral evidence from a range of NGOs, drawing attention to a number of concerns including:
- condition of detention facilities – with women reporting being beaten, shackled at the ankles, forced to sleep on concrete floors, no access to toilet paper
- travel bans
- job bans or forcible transfer from employment at one ministry to another
- enforced disappearances – specifically citing the case of the Suwaidi sisters who were disappeared for 3 months after calling for the release of their
Further details on the reports put before the committee can be found here