Lebanon: Government Postpones Discussion of Draft Law

The members of the National Alliance for Legalizing the Protection of Women from Family Violence did not get the result they were expecting when the bill for the Protection of Women from Family Violence was listed number 1 on the Cabinet’s agenda.
The disappointing decision stated the referral of the bill to a ministerial committee for further examination and deliberation. However, the four member of the committee had all previously expressed their support to the bill, and already examined and explicitly approved it”, said Mrs. Zoya Rouhana, Director of KAFA (enough) Violence & Exploitation during the press conference held by the organization Wednesday morning at the Press Association.
Ms. Rouhana said that this decision clearly shows the indifference of the Lebanese politicians toward women issues, especially during the ongoing parliamentary election campaign. She said that the draft law was sent to all the ministers last September, which gave them enough time to study it, had they took this issue in a serious manner.

Ms. Rouhana called upon all Lebanese women to stand up to “all political forces which had denied so far the women their rights to pass on their nationality to their children and husbands, and their basic human right to be protected from violence and other rights (…) and to boycott parliamentary elections until they are acknowledged as citizens and actual partners in this country”.

According to Rouhana, there is no possible reason that might prevent the bill’s ratification; especially that the bill had passed by all the administrations that had to approve it before it is put on the agenda of the cabinet, and especially also that KAFA had received explicit supporting promises from different ministers and politicians, among whom was the Minister of Justice Ibrahim Najjar. According to a local newspaper (AL-Akhbar) Minister Najjar confirmed his commitment to the Bill, stating that two ministers opposed its ratification during the session, requesting more time to examine it, and that he will ask them to submit their observations and comments in written. As for the possibility to pass the bill before the end of the current Government mandate, Najjar affirmed the absence of any impediment to such a decision, even after the election of a new Parliament next Sunday.

2 June 2009

Source: KAFA