The Right of a Female Employee to Accompany her Diplomat Husband



West Bank

Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Riyad Al-Malki,

MUSAWA – The Palestinian Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession would like to extend its greetings and inform you that, on 28/06/2016, MUSAWA received a written complaint from Mr. Bassam Al-Qawasmi, a diplomat in the Embassy of Palestine in Tunis, stating that his requests to your Excellency regarding assigning his wife by the Ministry of Education to accompany him during his work and to continue paying her salary were denied.

In his complaint, he referred to the decision issued by the President on 10/08/2011, which states that the wife accompanying her husband who is a diplomatic envoy on a diplomatic mission, should be considered “in-practice/employed” throughout the whole mission period; therefore, she should receive her salary as usual, as she should be assigned by the governmental institution where she is currently employed to accompany her diplomat husband throughout the whole period of his work (mission), as part of Palestine’s diplomatic missions. He also pointed out that diplomatic missions is a right regulated by the Diplomatic Corps Law as well as Mr. President’s decision, which was implemented before June 2014 in relation to all of the diplomatic-mission cases which are of a nature similar to his case.

He also added, “So as not to deal with diplomatic missions as a punishment for him and his family; in order for his wife, who has been accompanying him in Tunis since 17/08/2014 by an unpaid leave, not to pay the price for his mission; in order for her not to be punished for being a diplomat’s wife; in order to protect her employment rights after a long service in the Ministry of Education since 1991; and in order for her not to lose her job, I hope that your Excellency would approve my aforementioned request and that the payment of her salary would be continued by the Ministry of Education so that she would be able to accompany me, in line with what is stated in the Diplomatic Corps Law and the President’s decision mentioned above”.

MUSAWA, as a professional, non-governmental and independent monitoring body, hopes that your Excellency would look closely into this memo and take the necessary legal action regarding the matter. We kindly ask that you duly approve the diplomat’s request and address the Ministry of Education to take the necessary measures to assign his wife as his escort, while continuing to pay her salary, in realization of the principles of the rule of law and equality before the law and the judiciary on the one hand, and in fulfillment of the President’s decision (referred-to above) on the other hand.

With all due respect,

Issued on 10/08/2016        

Chairman of MUSAWA’s Board of Directors



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