Lebanon’s laws still leaving women vulnerable
As the sun rose on May 18, Sara al-Amin was shot 17 times with an assault rifle and killed; her husband was later arrested and charged with her murder. Amin is just the latest in a growing number of women in Lebanon who are beaten, harassed and killed by their partner or spouse.
Amin’s brutal murder comes despite domestic violence legislation – enacted on April 1, 2014 – that explicitly criminalizes domestic violence in Lebanon. A year later, nothing seemed to have changed. This is why Amin’s death has left many so jarred.
On May 30, more than 1,000 people gathered in a public outpouring of anger, demanding the government do more to protect women. The demonstration was organized by KAFA, a local NGO that supports victims of abuse and a key leader of last year’s legislative battle. The organization fields around 2,600 calls a year to its helpline for victims of domestic violence.
Rothna Begum, researcher on women’s rights in the Middle East and North Africa for Human Rights Watch, says levels of domestic violence remain stubbornly high in the region. Lebanon is one of only five countries in the region with laws on domestic violence, but the legislation only goes so far: the biggest issue is proper implementation…[Continue reading on Al Arabiya]