Target: President Michel Suleiman
Goal: Increase protection from domestic violence for Lebanese women
In Lebanon, women appear to have more freedoms than women from other nearby countries. However, the appearance is apparently just for show, as these women are still severely subordinate to the nation’s dominant male population. Nadine Mouwad, one of the founders of feminist group Nasawiya, is pressing for more laws protecting women against domestic violence. Domestic violence and martial rape are crimes that often go unresolved and ignored by the police, who believe that these matters should be fixed personally. It is time that the government takes a stand for women citizens and enforce laws that will protect them from the physical and mental abuses that exist within the household.
Lebanese women, especially those that live in the capital, Beirut, often appear to be happy and glamorous because they are allowed to wear what they want and go where they want. According to Mouwad, however, these freedoms are illusions. She stated to CNN: “The problem is that we are sold a lot of fake freedoms that raise Lebanese women under the impression that they have freedom to go anywhere, freedom to dress the way they want to.” These freedoms are definitely limited once women return to their homes and possibly abusive husbands.
The Lebanese government has addressed domestic violence in the past with a draft of the Law to Protect Women from Family Violence, which was originally approved by the cabinet in 2010. The law aimed to protect women from martial rape and would have created programs to teach the police on how to respond to these situations. The law would have also outlined legal guidelines in addressing these crimes. The law has since deteriorated after it entered parliament and the many members who are opposed to such a law. If this law was passed, it would have provided so much more justice for these women who may be stuck in horrible marriages in which they suffer severely from domestic violence.
However, domestic abuse is still being heard within religious courts which usually aim to keep the family together as a unit as opposed to finding justice for the victims. These women deserve more rights and do not deserve to be abused by their husbands. The law must be reintroduced and more freedoms must be granted to women who may not be able to get out of an abusive relationship.
Dear President Michel Suleiman,
Women need to be better protected from domestic violence in Lebanon, which currently does not aid abused women from their husbands. Martial rape and domestic abuse are still tried in religious courts that offer no justice for these women. These courts are more focused on keeping the family together as a unit as opposed to preventing more abuse and possible death from occurring.
The Lebanese government had previously drafted a law entitled Law to Protect Women from Family Violence which would have given women more protection from abusive husbands. The law was unfortunately stalled by parliament. The government must redraft this law and make it a priority.
Protect women from injustices within the household.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Cluster Munition Coalition via Flickr