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The parliamentary committees pass and amend the draft law for the protection of women from domestic violence, amidst reservations from women organisations


Finally, the joint parliamentary committees passed yesterday, Monday July 22, 2013 the proposed legislative bill for protection of women from domestic violence, following long and protracted past deliberations and discussions. However, the approved new version carries somewhat a different title with the original ‘Protection of women from domestic violence’ being replaced by ‘Protection of women and all family members from domestic violence’. This new modification triggered several reactions and expressions of discontent particularly from some of the women organisations that have been militating to achieve this women’s right, especially so since this modification entails a significant alteration of the purpose off the draft law and consequently possibly could undermine the effectiveness of the law in protecting women from domestic violence.
Concurrent with the convening of the parliamentary session, women and men activists from civil society organizations held a sit-in, in response to a call from KAFA (Enough) violence and exploitation, at Riad el Solh Square, with the purpose of putting additional pressures on the legislators. After the passing of the bill, the ‘National Coalition to Legislate the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence’, commented on the introduced modifications considering it of a cosmetic nature. The Coalition also clarified that that the next step is to call on the Head of Parliament, Mr. Nabih Berri, to ensure that the draft bill is discussed during the first upcoming plenary session of Parliament. The Coalition will be working towards passing the law according to its original purpose: i.e. the protection of women.  Nadine Moawad, an activist in ‘Nasawiya’, indicated that ‘the real achievement lies in the end content of the law and not its transition within the legislative process. Furthermore, the festive mood was absent from the declaration of the President of the Civil Committee for Follow-up of Women’s Issues, Fahmieh Sharafeddeen, who, though acknowledging that the passing of the law is a step forward, said that “what is required is a law to protect women and not a family law,” She stressed that her organisation will work diligently to further modify and develop the current draft law.
Source: Al-Safir, Al-Akhbar, Al-Mustaqbal, Al-Nahar, Al-Diyar 23 July 2013

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