Belgium >> United Arab Emirates, Recommendation, 43rd Session, May 2023

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State under Review
Abrogate legal provisions discriminating women, including regarding male guardianship and unequal rights of women with regard to marriage, custody, divorce and inheritance, as stipulated by the Personal Status Law.
Noted. The 2022–2026 gender-balance strategy has been adopted. Its purpose is to bridge the gender-balance gap in all sectors, mainstream a gender perspective, promote gender balance in decision-making positions and consolidate the country’s leading position and leadership in relevant legislation. During the past three years, more than 20 new laws and legislative amendments aimed at promoting women's rights and empowerment have been adopted, the most important of which is the Federal Decree-Law on Personal Status applicable to non-Muslims residing in the country. Article 4 of the Decree-Law, which concerns the issue of equality of rights and duties between men and women, aims to promote the principle of equality in matters of witness testimony, inheritance, the right to request divorce and joint custody. With regard to the decriminalization of abortion in some circumstances, the Medical Liability Law provides for two following cases in which doctors can perform an abortion subject to controls: if continuing the pregnancy would endanger the life of the pregnant woman and if the foetus is shown to have an abnormality. The Cabinet is currently considering allowing abortion in other specific cases subject to controls and standards.

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