Maarab, Lebanon: A draft law criminalizing marital rape was introduced Friday at the Lebanese Forces’ headquarters in Maarab, marking another victory for women’s’ rights.
“Before being his wife, you were his lover, and on top of all of that, you’re a human”, a short video prepared by the women’s department of the LF echoed.
The draft law was submitted by Lebanese forces MPs Setrida Geagea and George Okais to Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri on Wednesday, and it now awaits the approval of their peers to be ratified.
Touching on the challenges ahead, Okais was hopeful in attracting support for the bill given the LF’s collaboration with a number of civil society movements.
"Collaboration shouldn’t be just tied to other political blocs, but also extended to civil society organizations,” he said.
The aim of the bill is simple, to preserve women’s rights, the LF said.
Speaking on a panel at the event, Okais maintained that there still is a long way to go for women’s rights in Lebanon.
"This is only a small step in a long process," he said, adding that LF MPs are preparing to submit a number of other draft laws in the coming years aimed at furthering women’s rights.
"We will fight so that Lebanese women’s rights are not violated by anyone, especially their husbands," Maya Zeghrini, a lawyer and head of women’s department at the LF said.
She also stressed on the need to amend the penal code, while offering other explanations for instances of marital rape including the prevalence of the patriarchal society in the region.
The LF is also exploring legal avenues to abolish article 505 of the Lebanese penal code which acquits an accused rapist if he marries his victim.
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