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Women, children still not equal under the law, women’s group says

By JT - Jan 24,2017 - Last updated at Jan 24,2017

AMMAN — The Jordanian National Commission for Women (JNCW) has urged the government to amend several laws which still discriminate against women and children.

In a paper presented to the government, the JNCW said that it has presented similar papers to consecutive governments, and every new Parliament.

It aims to remind them of laws which need to be amended in order to protect the rights of women and children in Jordan, the JNCW said in a statement issued on Monday. 

The government has recently sent draft amendments to Penal Code to Parliament for discussion and approval.

“There is a sense of delay in amending laws and [stiffening] punishments in cases of domestic violence and other crimes that our society is witnessing,” the JNCW said in its statement.

The JNCW also expressed its concerns over terminology still used in the Penal Code, which “only links women to reputation, honour and chastity, [thereby clearly discriminating] against women and their status in society”. 

The commission renewed its call to repeal Article 308 of the Penal Code, which allows rapists to escape punishment if they marry their victim.

The government recently amended the controversial article, but did not eliminate it entirely as the women’s movement demanded.

The amendments still allow rapists to marry the victims if they are under the age of 18.

“It would be fair and just for all victims of rape if this article were entirely removed from the legal books,” the JNCW said, adding that it would “close a bad chapter in our history and ensure dignity for rape victims”.

Other controversial articles mentioned in the JNCW paper included the clear identification of sexual harassment against women and ensuring tough punishment for perpetrators.

 

The JNCW sent its list of demands to the prime minister, the minister of justice, and the Lower House speaker and the president of the Senate, in addition to other relevant committees in Parliament.

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