Lebanon’s Parliament Fails Lebanon’s Women


71 Lebanese MPs signed the petition by KAFA to include amendments to the proposed Domestic Abuse bill in the actual law that would pass in parliament.

2 minutes was all it took for the law to pass.

0 is the number of MPs who argued for the amendments. 0 is also the number of amendments that made it to the actual bill.

Is the law in its current form bad? Yes it is even if it’s a step forward somehow. It’s greatly lacking in so many ways, of which is the fact that Lebanese Parliament has (unknowingly?) legalized marital rape by failing to omit the term “spousal privileges” from the draft that has become official today.

Under the new law which parliament passed today, marital rights for intercourse were enshrined for the first time in text in civil law. What a victory for civility in 2014.

The law also has other shortcomings, which you can check out in this Arabic document.

I wonder, has any of the MPs that approved this law actually read it or did they just go with the decision of their political bloc? Did the female MPs that voted for this law also give it a second look beyond the fancy title that is not even exclusive to their gender? Is two minutes all the time our MPs believed is enough for such a vital law to be discussed?

There’s a line where MPs who cared should have drawn a limit. That line is when the lives and sanctity of people is as stake.

Yet again, should we really be surprised?

The shortcomings of the law are nothing more and nothing less than a simple manifestation of the status quo in Lebanese law: one that is enshrined in religious text that dictate everything about our daily lives, legally. The bill in question has been maimed into a stillborn proposition by MPs who were too afraid for their religiosity that they can’t view any cause as worthy outside of that frame.

It will always be the case until we view our worth as Lebanese citizens as something that transcends the sect we were born in, where us being governed is not contingent upon the laws that are bestowed upon us due to our birth being in this town or in that region.

Perhaps we were too hopeful that parliament would pass a decent law for us to be proud of. But the joke’s on us for being foolishly optimistic. It is, after all, April Fools.

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