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Expat women face rejection

Bank Account

Expatriate women in the UAE are breathing fire and we can't blame them! A recent law issued by the capital's Central Bank stipulates that women are not allowed to open or manage bank accounts for their own children.

July 15, 2012 4:21 by

A potentially problematic problem has hit expatriate women in the United Arab Emirates, leaving them fuming. The Central Bank in Abu Dhabi has issued a law that denies women the right to either open or manage a bank account for children whom are under the age of 18.

This rule has caused outrage among expatriate women; particularly divorced women with custody of their children. Kipp not only understands their frustration but also completely misses the point of such a law.

The backlash against this law is that women believe it to be oppression or a symbol of their inability to sponsor their children.

A spokesman for the bank told reporters that it is the father who is eligible to open and manage a minor’s bank account. Failing that, a close male relative. An uncle or grandfather will do, but not a woman.

The restriction is causing difficulties for female expat workers. Many say that they do not understand or see the logic behind this law. Furthermore, even if a father must be there to open an account, he must also give a separate authorization paper to allow the mother to have access to it!

Eighteen year olds are generally allowed to open savings accounts for themselves and you must be 21 years old to open a bank account in the UAE.

Such a law is frightening, not simply because it slaps a feel of handicap and inequality on women but it also begs the question; what’s next? Perhaps at some point, women won’t be allowed to shop on their own either.

It wouldn’t surprise us if women in the country (if not already) would begin to rally through social media or other appropriate platforms. There has already been an urge for the government to intervene and break the curse of this rule.

“I can’t believe that we are in the 21st century and treat women as illegitimate custodians of their own children,” A high-profile expatriate working woman was quoted by Gulf News.

Women are allowed to vote, be independent and work. They can become managers, CEOs and vice presidents but the buck stops with the bank account (pun unintended). We can’t believe we are in the 21st century either.

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