Manama: Women activists will use a regional seminar to step up pressure for the citizenship rights of children born to Bahraini mothers and foreign fathers.

According to Bahraini citizenship law, only fathers can pass on their nationality to their children, effectively denying Bahraini mothers married to foreigners this right.

"We have 1,800 cases that we want relevant authorities to address as soon as possible in order to redress a grievance," Bahrain Women's Association head Dr Wajeeha Al Baharna said on Tuesday in a press statement, on the eve of the two-day conference on women's full citizenship.

The activist said there were more cases of children who wanted Bahraini citizenship, but could not have it because of their fathers' foreign nationality.

"We are aware of several cases that were submitted to the Supreme Council for Women," she said.

Dr Wajeeha said the conference in Manama would review the experience of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt in granting their female citizens greater citizenship rights, including the possibility of passing their nationality to their children.

"We will also have papers from Lebanon, Oman, Kuwait, Algeria and Morocco with recommendations on the issue," she said.

The conference is the latest in a string of attempts by women's rights activists to raise awareness about the issue. Over the last few years, they have approached members from the two chambers of the parliament in a bid to introduce legislation protecting mothers' rights.

"We will build on past efforts with the various parliamentary blocs and work with the new parliament to secure more rights for Bahraini women.

"We received tremendous support from the Shura Council women and children committee and we plan to consolidate our work with them," said Dr Wajeeha.

King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa of Bahrain last Sep-tember granted Bahraini nationality to 372 children born to Bahrain mothers and foreign fathers.