Joint Committees Give OK to Domestic Violence Draft-Lawإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The joint parliamentary committees approved on Monday a draft-law on the protection of women from domestic violence, a major step towards helping women become first-class citizens in multi-confessional Lebanon.
If passed by parliament, the law would come under the penal code -- under which cases are referred to a criminal court -- rather than personal status laws, which are ruled on by religious authorities.
On Sunday, activists held a protest in the northern district of Akkar urging parliament to approve the draft-law after a woman was allegedly beaten to death by her husband earlier this month.
Roula Yaacoub, the 31-year-old mother of five, was found beaten at her home in the town of Halba. She died upon arrival in hospital.
Reports have said that Roula and her children were regularly beaten by her husband.
Domestic abuse and harassment continue to be taboo in Lebanon, with very few women filing complaints as police generally turn a blind eye and tell them to deal with their problems at home.
From domestic violence to rape to adultery, the rights of women often fall by the wayside, reducing them to second-class citizens.
Monday's approval of the draft-law was seen as a major step towards the liberation of the Lebanese woman who still lacks a lot of rights, including transferring citizenship to her husband if he is a foreigner or to children born of such a union.
But it could take months before the draft-law is put on the agenda of a parliamentary session.