This morning, 20 women “fell dead” before Lebanon’s
House of Parliament, to express their
anger about the work of the parliamentary sub-committee assigned to study the draft law to protect women from domestic violence.
The protesters said that a woman dies every month as a result of domestic violence. Their slogan read: “Each month one woman
dies, something we cannot deny!”
After years of
demanding for a law to protect women against inter-marital rape and domestic
violence, Lebanese activists were stunned with what they called as “distortions
and alterations” to the law which they had hoped for.
One independent activist described the law as no longer
useful for the sole protection of women from domestic violence, but instead has been
“altered” to include all family members, which thus dilutes the purpose of a
women’s protection law.
This dealt a harsh blow to activists who were hoping the
revised law would restore the balance of power within the family, in relation to personal status laws which come
in favor of men. The law, according to the activist does
not recognize the existence of violence against women as a sole entity and hence lays the dilemma.
“The act of inter-marital rape has not been
criminalized, but instead has been encouraged,” one activist explained. The
draft law states that should no negative repercussions derive from the act of
rape itself, then it is permissible within the institution of marriage.
Article 26 of the bill
which became Article 22 stipulates the following:
With the exception of the jurisdiction of Family Courts and Personal Status Provisions of which remain in place
without further discussion canceled all
contrary provisions of this law or
that do not agree with its content.
”We as women reject this whole article which grants absolute priority to family courts and the provisions of personal status within the
Penal Code without any exception - and which eliminate the
role of the Court of Cessation, which can intervene in accordance with the law in decisions taken by the
“We called for a law to protect us, but instead received a law which
further “slaughters” our rights and our status,” they said.
“We shall boycott the upcoming parliamentary elections should this law fail
to be revised for the protection of women,” the concluded.
For the full LBCI report, please watch the video above