Posts tagged law
This is a translation of Farfahinne’s post: مشروع قانون حماية المرأة من العنف الأسري بعد التسريبات: تشويه ما بعده تشويه
Violence against women happens in two complimentary spheres. In the first, a number of cultural, political, and economic values and laws create an environment of violence in the public sphere. And in the second, violence is perpetuated privately within the family. They compliment and complete each other. For instance, laws and policies that discriminate against women economically stem from an attitude that places women in a traditional role within the family as house workers and not bread winners. And thus a woman is deprived of her right to insure her children with social security unless her husband is handicapped or deceased.
Families in Lebanon are engulfed in a shroud of holiness. What happens within their structures – even when violent – remains within a family. Like my neighbor who thought it a curse that his wife only bore 3 girls and would beat them for the stupidest reasons and drag them by the hair down the stairs. Their cries for help would fill the neighborhood for years until they grew up and found an escape, each in her own way. The neighborhood adapted to these cries, got used to them and eventually got bored with them. To many, they became a repetitive symphony that provided immunity from any attacks of conscience for ignoring the painful cries.
In Lebanon, women’s organizations have struggled for years to release violence against women from the captives of the private sphere, to find mechanisms to protect women. The law to Protect Women from Family Violence, presented to the government by Kafa, was the culmination of years of this hard work. It was formulated after years of listening to thousands of complaints from women who were beaten and raped by their spouses and fathers. It was put together based on research from hundreds of counseling and legal support cases. The proposed law is particularly for women because it saw that Lebanon’s penal and personal status laws awarded men with many privileges and that there should be a law that protects women in order to tend to the grave imbalance between women and men in family structures. It aimed to fight gender-based violence, to fight the violence that happens against women for the sole reason of them being women.
And so the law was supported by dozens of women’s and civil society organizations and presented to the government. It was then passed on – with little resistance – to Parliament, which then designated a side committee to study the law and then pass it on to a vote in Parliament. The law has been with the committee for 6 months although their deadline was 3 weeks.
Today, we have word that the committee has two weeks to finish its study and that it has already made terrible amendments that will actually take us hundreds of steps backwards.
The entire ethos of the law has been changed from one to protect women to one to protect all the members of the family from violence. It has, therefore, become entirely void of the gender dimension – despite all the studies and research and testimonies that prove that the problem of violence within families is a gender-based problem.
Some forms of violence have been deleted entirely in Article 3 – most importantly marital rape – which, in this maimed version, is not considered a form of family violence.
The procedure of reporting violence has been changed to prevent anybody from initiating a complaint via reporting it (which means that I cannot call up the police and report my three friends being beaten up by their father).
And perhaps the most dangerous of these alterations is the addition of Article 26 which gives priority and superiority of judgment to the personal status (i.e. religious sectarian) courts in case of any clash between the two laws. With this article, religious courts have the prerogative to judge if the act is considered violent and, therefore, if it should be criminalized or not. This article also discriminates among women in the implementation of the protection law because it will change according to religious denomination. And it’s considered a blow to the Child Protection law which has come under attack recently with demands to return matters of violence against children to sectarian courts as well.
And so, a law like this, in its distorted version, no longer achieves its intended result which was the protection of women from family violence and the open admission from the State that violence against women is a crime punishable by law, which would help fight the dominant cultural social values that justify violence against women.
The struggle is clear today between forces that are working with all their might against civil society to impose religious courts as the fundamental reference for family matters and forces trying to place the Lebanese State in front of its civil duties to protect women form violence.
Women’s organizations and namely Kafa have proven to be patient and persistent. Today, the law faces the grave danger of being born dead or maimed (at best). Women’s organizations and civil society – everybody who is fighting for a civil space, a civil state, civil laws – must fight to the bone for this law that will save many from misery and save many from murder.
This article was edited one day after publishing to clarify that it was attempted rape.
The attempted rape and murder of Myriam Achkar in Sahel Alma has angered and outraged all of us. Myriam’s story is tragic and brings us face to face with the cruelest, most heinous of crimes. We are frustrated and enraged because it is unjust that she dies like this. A young woman, 28, takes a 20-minute walk from her home in the suburbs and gets sexually attacked and then murdered by a man.
That’s really what the story is: A young woman, 28, takes a 20-minute walk from her home in the suburbs and gets sexually attacked and murdered by a man.
But that’s not the story we’re hearing everywhere. What we’re hearing is: A young, Christian, virgin woman, 28, takes a 20-minute walk from her home to a church to pray, and gets sexually attacked and murdered by a Syrian worker.
And so the anger and outrage becomes Christian anger against Syrians. The family thirsts for his blood. They want to lynch him in the public square of Jounieh. They feel wronged as a religious community. This is violence from Syrians towards all Christians, and the Christians are too forgiving, they say. And they stress that Myriam was a practicing believer. She was not out in Gemmayze at 1am, they say. She was on her way to pray.
Nationality and religion have nothing to do with why Myriam was attacked. Really. I am not justifying the murder, God forbid anyone should justify the crime. And the rapist murderer, Fathi Jaber Al-Salatini should be tried, and if convicted, go to jail until he dies. I’m just stating a fact. Nationality and religion have nothing to do with the violence Myriam faced. What time it was, what she was wearing, what she was on her way to do, none of that matters. She was still brutally violated and her barbaric murder was not motivated by theft or hatred. It was motivated by rape.
Her story is, very sadly, not unique. I have heard dozens of stories about rape, from people and from survivors themselves. And so have you. If you haven’t, it just means that the women around you are not talking to you about it. In fact, the women in Lebanon are not talking about rape at all.
Our anger at this horrible crime – understandable anger, human anger – should be towards rape…
Towards the backwards rape laws in Lebanon.
Rapists most often get off the hook. Women are blamed. I don’t have statistics because we don’t have studies. But I know of many cases. Most recently, a European woman was raped and beaten up by two young Lebanese men. I met her and I saw the scars and bruises. The men have posted bail and are now building a case to fight her allegations in court. Our law, Article 503 says a rapist can be acquitted if he marries the victim. He would often get a reduced sentence if he proposes marriage. The maximum sentence is 5 years. Husbands are excluded from this law if they rape their wives. Rape is interpreted as a penis penetrating a vagina. All other forms of sexual violence are not criminalized. This is the law the governs rape in Lebanon. This is the law we should revolt against.
Towards the police who never take rape complaints seriously.
Our police force is not trained to handle rape cases. They ask a woman what she was wearing and why she was where she was. They ask her if she is married. The forensic doctor examines her on the same bed where police officers sleep between shifts. That is if a woman is brave enough or has enough faith in the police to report rape. In one rape case that happened in the summer, a woman had to return to the police station 3 times before they finally wrote down her complaint and promised to investigate it.
Towards the municipalities who don’t provide enough lighting or protection.
Our streets are unsafe. Women are subject to sexual harassment on the streets – any street in any part of Lebanon – 24 hours a day. Lewd comments, stalking, following in a car, propositions for sex, groping, you name it, it happens 24 hours a day to almost every woman, young women especially, every day. And our protective measure, often, is to tell women not to be on that street, at that time, alone. It’s a stupid measure. What we need is municipalities to take sexual harassment seriously, to have enough security that punishes harassment, to have adequate lighting, to respond to complaints. Outside one university campus in Metn is a women’s dorm where men gather every night to harass every woman who enters and exits. They have complained to the university and the municipality and nothing was done about it. When we allow, as a society, sexual violence to be dismissed and joked about and belittled, we allow for rape to go unaddressed.
Towards the sexist culture that promotes the sexual objectification of women.
Women’s bodies are used, haphazardly and illogically, to sell just about anything. Selling taouk? Put a naked women on the ad. Selling a carpet? Put a naked woman on the ad. Selling a gadgets magazine? Put a naked woman on the cover. Everywhere we go, the image of the Lebanese woman we are promoting is one of sex and desire and objectification. There are often no heads on the bodies even, no people behind the bodies. In a media and advertising culture that promotes women as sex objects, how can we raise our girls to love and claim ownership over their own bodies? How can we raise our boys to not feel entitled to consume women’s bodies at their will? How can we call for the sexual liberation of women when we only understand sexual liberation as the commercial objectification of women?
Towards the silencing of women’s stories when they want to talk about rape.
It is extremely difficult for women (here and anywhere) to talk about rape. The shame, the self-blame, the guilt, the taboos, the excuses we give rapists first before we condemn them. In our country, we tell women not to get raped. We don’t tell men not to rape. When they do speak up, we either silence them to protect their “honor” or we ask them a million questions as if it were their fault. Rape is never a woman’s fault. We have not opened up the space, as a women’s movement and as a society, for women to come forward with rape stories and get the justice they deserve. We have not created the proper support systems to give them the services (legal, health, psychological, community support) they need. We have not taught our mothers and fathers to encourage their girls to always speak up, that nothing is taboo, that they must report sexual violence when it happens. We protect our girls by teaching them to always speak up. A woman can survive rape. She always does. Thousands of Lebanese women – your friends, your sisters, your colleagues – have survived rape. What traumatizes them is the guilt and shame they feel because you won’t listen to them or you will blame them or you will make them feel worthless.
Towards the excuses we give rapists.
Boys will be boys. Boys need to have sex, it’s a physiological need. He was her boyfriend, it’s her fault for dating him in the first place. He was turned on by her short skirt. He couldn’t control himself. She looks Russian, he thought she was a sex worker. He misunderstood her and thought she wanted it. She was too drunk. He was seduced by her eyes. She had kissed him so he assumed she wanted to have sex. A million excuses we will give men. Illogical, stupid excuses, all part of a system that won’t teach kids proper sex education but will justify sexual violence when it happens. A culture that equates men’s honor with honesty and nobility and courage and equates women’s honor with their vagina. We need to draw the firm line against all rape excuses, all justifications. We need to see men and women as equal sexual beings and demand the same levels of bodily autonomy for everyone. We need to treat everyone’s body – no matter what gender we attach to it – with dignity and respect.
All these misdirected hateful sentiments that have come out of Myriam’s attempted rape and murder, these racist feelings towards Syrian workers, these sectarian feelings, these vengeful feelings. We can understand the feelings. But we cannot condone how they are directed.
We honor Myriam’s memory by directing our anger at sexual violence. May she rest in peace and may the right justice be served. Fight rape.
Al Jazeera Stream hosted a debate on the proposed Law to Protect Women from Family Violence last night. I was arguing for and Sounay Nouh of the Women’s Committee to Protect the Family was arguing against. Discussion focused on marital rape, culture, child protection, and the current legal protection mechanisms.
Thank you to everyone who joined us yesterday at the demonstration to Protect Women from Family Violence!
You can also check out the #protectwomen hashtag on twitter for the live updates.
I estimate that we must have been around 800 protesting yesterday – very diverse crowd. The presence of lots of political parties provoked mixed reactions from the feminists, some applauding their participation in the demo (which is a rarity in Lebanon) and others thought their presence was hypocritical and tainted what should have been a people’s march. I personally don’t like marching alongside any party for whatever cause because I dislike all of them, but I respect Kafa’s decision to involve them as partners in the campaign. If there’s any organization in Lebanon that can bring very different groups together at the same table, it’s Kafa, and that requires hard work and guts, so kudos to them.
It was a little disappointing to see that the largest coalition of our women’s movement could only bring together hundreds of people. We are a long way from becoming a mass movement. And certainly the worst thing about the march was the chant “Rfa3 eedak, koun rijjeil” (targetted at parliamentarians). Shou ossitna we still endorse the idea of “being a man?”
All in all, it was a successful demo and we’ll keep our eyes on the developments of the proposed law.
Here are the main characteristics of the new Civil Personal Status Law prepared by Dr. Augarite Younan and Dr. Walid Slaiby and presented to Parliament. It sounds so delicious, makes me want to get married I will write up some critiques of the new proposed law that different activists have raised soon. In the meantime, you can join the group on Facebook to support and learn more.
For more information visit www.chaml.org
لا تمييز أو تفرقة بسبب من اختلاف الدين أو المذهب
يحتفظ كل من الزوجين بدينه وبحرّية معتقده
الحق بإقامة احتفال ديني بعد الزواج المدني الرسمي
الحقّ لكلّ من عقد زواجه بموجب هذا القانون أن يحتفل بزواج مباركة روحية لدى أي مرجع ديني
حق للمتزوجين سابقًا مدنيًا
إنصاف من عقد زواجـًا مدنيًا خارج لبنان من قبل: الحق في الالتحاق بهذا القانون
وحقّ للبنانيين في الخارج
يتمّ زواج اللبناني واللبنانية في الخارج أمام قنصل لبنان… أو أمام السلطة الأجنبيّة المختصّة
الرضى… وسنّ الزواج
لا ينعقد الزواج إلاّ برضى كل من الزوجين
سنّ الزواج للذكر والأنثى: 18
حقوق لذوي الحاجات الخاصة
لا تـُعتبر مانعًا أمام الزواج الإعاقة غير المؤثـّرة في الصحة الإدراكية لصاحبها أو صاحبتها، أو في الصحة الإنجابية لأيّ منهما شرط إعلام الشريك بالأمر مسبقـًا وبعد التوافق بينهما
تـُراعى بالنسبة إلى مكان عقد الزواج ضرورات ذوي الحاجات الخاصة والمعوّقين
في حال تعذّر التعبير عن قول “نعم” بشكل صريح عند عقد الزواج للأسباب المتعلـّقة ببعض حالات الإعاقة ولذوي الحاجات الخاصة، ينبغي توفير أيّ وسيلة ملائمة تسهـّل ذلك
على المحكمة توفير الوسائل المناسبة للزوجين أو للأطفال من ذوي الحاجات الخاصة والمعوّقين خلال جلسات الوساطة والاستماع
إنشاء محاكم مدنية للدولة
يُستحدث في الجمهورية اللبنانية ملاكـًا خاصـًا بالأحوال الشخصية المدنية بكامل متطلباته المؤسساتية والبشرية
جهاز مختص بالوساطة العائلية وإدارة النزاعات
يتمّ تشكيل جهاز مختص داخل هذا الملاك: للوساطة العائلية والإدارة اللاعنفية للنزاعات الأسرية وحالات الاستماع إلى الأطفال وتقديم الاستشارة العلمية الملزمة
نص خاص لقول الـ “نعم” وشكل خاص للقـَسـَم
يعتمد الملاك اللبناني المستحدث للأحوال الشخصية المدنية نصـًا موحدًا لقراءته أمام طالبي الزواج، ولطرح السؤال على كل منهما عمّا إذا كان يريد الآخر زوجـًا له، وذلك بحيث لا يتضمـّن هذا النص أيّ إشارة إلى الدين أو المذهب وبحيث لا يرتكز في أيّ حال من الأحوال إلى وسائل دينية أو مذهبية لتثبيت القول والقـَسَم بالقبول بالزواج
الغاية: الحب وإسعاد كل من الزوجين للآخر – وسعادة الأطفال
يتعهـّد كل من الزوجين تجاه الآخر بالمحبة وإسعاد الآخر وبالتعاون وحسن المعاملة وبالسلوك غير العنفي، ويشتركان في شؤون الأسرة وفي تربية الأطفال
يلتزم الزوجان التعهّد المتبادل بالحرص على سعادة الأطفال ثمرة زواجهما وعلى الاعتناء بهم وبهنَ من النواحي المادية والمعنوية والجسدية والنفسية والحقوقية، مع إيلاء الأولوية لحمايتهم في حالات السوء والنزاع الزوجيّ
احتفاظ كل من الزوجين بحرّيته الشخصية في مسائل جوهرية
تبقى لكل من الزوجين، ما لم يختـَر أحدهما غير ذلك وبملء إرادته، حريّة المعتقد، وحريّة التصرّف بأمواله الخاصّة، وحريّة العمل التي لا تتعارض مع الموجبات الزوجيّة الأساسيّة
إعطاء قيمة للعمل المنزلي
يشترك الزوجان في الإنفاق على العائلة بنسبة مواردهما الماليّة. وإذا لم يكن للمرأة أموالاً خاصّة ناتجة عن مشاريع وعمل ولا تتعاطى مهنة ببدل مالي، فالزوج هو الملزم بالإنفاق الماديّ المباشر، شرط اعتبار الزوجة شريكة في الإنفاق المنزلي من خلال تقدير قيمة العمل المنزلي كمورد أساسي للأسرة
يـُعتبَر العمل المنزلي للزوجة، وللزوج في حال كان يقوم بعمل منزلي منتظم وذي قيمة، موردًا أساسيًا للإنفاق المنزلي وتـُحتسب قيمته في التعويض في حالة الطلاق وتقدير الإرث وما سواها
تساوي في مسألة الطلاق
أسباب الطلاق هي واحـدة لـلرجل والمرأة، وحقّ طلب الطلاق بواسطة القضاء المدنيّ المختصّ هو واحد للرجل والمرأة على السواء
الإيذاء الجسدي المقصود أو أي إيذاء آخر أو التهديد بخطر أكيد: سبب أساسي للمقاضاة ولطلب الهجر أو الطلاق
لا يـُعتبر الطفل أو الطفلة تلقائيًا في عهدة الأب أو الأم للحضانة، إلا بنتيجة الاستشارة العلمية حول أولوية الصحة النفسية للطفل وللطفلة، من الجهاز الخبير المستحدث لشؤون الوساطة العائلية وإدارة النزاعات العائلية الناتجة عن تطبيق هذا القانون. كذلك الأمر بالنسبة إلى إعطاء حق الحضانة لعائلة الأم أو عائلة الأب
النفقة تتضمّن عناية متكاملة
النفقة للأطفال وللزوجين وللوالدين… تشمل المسكن والطعام والملبس والعلاج والتعليم والعناية الترفيهية
طفل “غير شرعي”
الطفل أو الطفلة ثمرة علاقة سبقت زواج والديه القانوني يكتسب صفة الطفل أو الطفلة شرعيًا بفعل زواجهما القانوني
تثبت بنوّة الطفلة أو الطفل المولود خارج إطار عقد الزواج القانوني، بالاعتراف الرضائي
مفردات أكثر إنسانية
الطفل والطفلة / به وبها/ حقهم وحقهن
“طفل غير شرعي” ← طفل أو طفلة ثمرة علاقة سبقت زواج والديه (ها) القانوني
“الحجر” ← المراقبة والوصاية ؛ المجنون ← فاقد الإدراك العقلي المثبت طبيًا؛
المعتوه ← المصاب بضعف دائم في الإدراك العقلي؛ السفيه ← المصاب بنمط سلوكيّ سيء
تساوي في الإرث
لا تمييز بين الذكور والإناث في الإرث
اختلاف الجنسية لا يمنع التوارث بين اللبنانيّين والأجانب إلاّ إذا كان القانون الوطني للأجنبي يمنع توريث اللبنانيّين أو يحدّ من حقهم بالإرث
اختلاف الدين والمذهب بين اللّبنانيين لا يمنع التوارث
يرث الطفل(ة) ثمرة علاقة من دون عقد زواج قانوني، كالطفل(ة) ثمرة عقد زواج قانوني، شرعيًا
يُعتبر الطفل(ة) المتبنَّى، بحكم الطفل(ة) الشرعي، في كل ما يتعلّق بحقوقه في الإرث
Adultery is a crime in Lebanon – like in many other parts of the world – according to our Penal Code. I am not quite sure why a supposed violation of a marriage contract (which is in the personal status law) could be in the penal code. But, either way, the Parliamentary committees have approved a bill to make the conditions for adultery equal between men & women. The current Penal Code (Articles 487-489) punishes a woman who commits adultery with a prison sentence from three months to two years. A man committing adultery, however, has to be caught in the act in his own home or be known by others to be conducting an illicit affair to be sentenced to prison for one month to a year.
It seems to many like a step forward for women’s rights since the new law (which is yet to pass a Parliamentary vote but probably will soon) would make the conditions of adultery equal for men and women. And certainly, we welcome all such initiatives for equality. But I, and many of the Nasawiyas, discussed it today and we believe that adultery should not be criminalized in the Penal Code. Although it may cause a lot of harm to the spouse, the consequences (whether divorce or forgiveness or negotiations) should be left to the privacy couple and not a matter that the State can interfere in. So we say: scrap it out all together.
Do you think adultery should be a crime?
Lawyer Nizar Saghieh and his team have launched a great new resource: the Legal Agenda (Al Moufakkira Al Qanouniyya), which is a monthly publication that carries the philosophy “Don’t leave the law to the legal people.”
You can check out Issue 0 here. Their website is coming soon.