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Lebanese women not safe despite domestic violence law

The Lebanese parliament has passed a law on domestic violence, but many argue that it is insufficient.

The Lebanese parliament passed a new law on domestic violence April 1. The idea for such a law was born in 2007 in the offices of the group Kafa [Enough] Violence Against Women. The project for a law protecting women against violence brought together 64 nongovernmental organizations, which submitted the draft to the government in 2009. Five years and two revisions later, the new law little resembles the original text. The wording used in the final draft says it all — “domestic violence,” not “violence against women.”

Two days after the vote on the law, Human Rights Watch declared the legislation “good, but incomplete.” Maya Ammar, Kafa's media officer, shared this opinion, telling Al-Monitor, “This is a big step for women's rights, but it is not enough.” According to Ammar, the only real breakthrough is that the law simplifies some legal mechanisms. Among the undesirable changes made to the original text is the provision involving marital rape, which is now “marital rights by force” and is condemned only if it involves physical evidence of violence.

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