Help End Forced Marriage in Lebanon

Momentum is growing to repeal laws that enable convicted rapists to marry their victims to avoid punishment. As well as the horrors endured by victims, this law means many women and girls where these laws exist are then forced into marriage against their will.

Latifa Basma Mohamad was 19 years old when she was forced to marry the middle-aged man who raped her. “My sister didn’t like the deal, but I assured to her, it will be temporary,” her brother said.1

On August 1, following a heated debate, the Parliament of Jordan repealed a law that states that if a valid marriage contract is held between the rapist and his victim and the marriage lasts for more than three years, the charges will be dropped.2

Pressure for change is mounting in neighboring Lebanon where a parliamentary vote on abolishing similar laws is anticipated soon. Freedom United’s partner, women’s rights group KAFA Lebanon and also Abaad, are highlighting the archaic practice of ‘marry your rapist’ laws, including by hanging torn and bloodied wedding dresses along the seaside promenade in Beirut, Lebanon.3 In Jordan, a committee of MPs recommended a similar law should simply be amended, however 63 organizations came together and campaigned to abolish it in its entirety. Bjoining together in one powerful voice, civil society succeeded in persuading the government that the only option was to repeal the law.

Let’s achieve the same in Lebanon, where ‘marry your rapist’ legislation contained in the Penal Code encourages the modern slavery practice of forced marriage and forced child marriage.

Whilst there is a wave of momentum building, let’s help repeal these laws that remain in countries as diverse as the Philippines to Tajikistan, but with our effort, not for much longer in Lebanon.4

Sign here to help ensure the Lebanese Parliament repeals these laws.

 

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