TWO rival demonstrations on the controversial issue of personal status laws will be held almost at the same time in Manama today.
The rally in support of the law, also known as the Family Law, will start near the Gulafshan Restaurant, opposite the Sheraton Hotel, at 3pm.
It is being organised by the Bahrain Women's Union (under formation), the Women's Petition Committee, the Personal Status Committee and the National Partnership Committee (Al Sharaka).
The other protest will begin near Al Dana Mall, in Sanabis, at 3.30pm.
It has been called for by several Islamic societies including the Islamic Awareness Society, Al Wefaq National Islamic Society, Al Bayan Transparency Society, Capital Transparency Society, the Cultural Enlightenment Society and the Islamic Message Society.
Bahrain currently has no personal status laws to govern domestic disputes.
Critics argue that this gives Sharia judges too much power to issue widely different judgements.
They claim such a law would make family issues, such as divorce, inheritance and child custody, fairer and easier to deal with in court.
They also claim the Sharia judges tend to be prejudiced against women.