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Truly historic

Aug 03,2017 - Last updated at Aug 03,2017

In a landmark decision, both Houses of Parliament repealed the infamous Article 308 of the Penal Code, which allowed rapists to escape punishment if they married their victims.

The article caused the country much embarrassment and elicited criticism over the past years, particularly because it contravened international human rights norms and was projecting a negative image of the country.

The campaign against Article 308 took many years to come to successful fruition, and when it finally did, there was much national rejoice and international acclaim.

Allowing a rapist to get out scot free by having him inflict repeat nightmare on his victim through marriage defied logic and was repugnant.

The victims would acquiesce to such marriage to escape some stigma, but it makes one shudder at the thought of knowing they were forced to relive the dread repeatedly by some misguided “social” norms.

Government and parliamentarians finally abolished the infamous provision in the Penal Code, and can now move forward and work to address remaining forms of injustice in laws related to women, with a view to empowering women and allowing them to take their rightful place in the political, economic and social development of the country. 

The step shows that judicial reform is well on its way and that the country is clear about the rights its citizens should enjoy.

It also demonstrates the will to correct loopholes in the legislation and to come to the defence of women. 

More will need to be done, including raising awareness, ensuring the safety of victims of sexual abuse and, most importantly, sorting out the status of children born out of wedlock.

Securing their rights is paramount, for it is no fault of theirs that they are “illegitimate”.

The abolishing of the article was not without controversy.

There are those who defended it, those who believed certain amendments were necessary and should be preserved in the article, and those who jubilate at having it scrapped altogether.

Whatever personal feelings, rationally and legally rape is a crime and it has to be treated as one, with the punishment accompanying it.

 

Victims of this crime need support, not finger pointing, and the society needs to get rid of social mores that perpetuate wrongdoing.

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Comments

ONCE AGAIN, THANKS TO JORDAN TIMES FOR THIS ARTICLE THAT REMINDS US ALL THAT WE SHOULD CONTINUE WITH THIS MOVEMENT AND PERHARPS COPY A PARAGRAPH FROM THE QATAR'S REFORMS ON WOMEN RIGHTS. ARTICLE 308 IS DEAD AND BURRIED AND I WAS SUPRISED TO SEE IT IN FRONT PAGES OF MOST NEWS PRINTS IN USA WHICH MAY BE AN INDICATOR THAT THE WORLD HAS BEEN WATCHING THIS DRAMA ALL ALONG. SLOW BUT STEADY, JORDAN CAN WIN THE RACE AGAINST INJUSTICE AGAINST WOMEN AND TAKE ITS PLACE AS ONE OF THE FIRST WORLD WHO DOES NOT GRANT RIGHTS BY GENDER STRATIFICATIONS.

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