[JURIST] Lebanon’s parliament [official website, in Arabic] passed a law on Tuesday criminalizing domestic violence. The new law comes after a long campaign by woman’s rights groups triggered [AFP report] by the death of multiple woman [AP report] allegedly from abuse by their husbands. Such domestic violence sparked large-scale protests [Reuters report] through the streets of the Lebanese capitol of Beirut on March 8, International Women’s Day [advocacy website]. The Lebanese woman’s rights group KAFA [advocacy group, in Arabic] has criticized the law for failing to include an amendment criminalizing marital rape and not specifying that the law covers violence against women. According to the Associated Press, the law states [AP report] that it covers “violence against women and other members of the family.” Much of the criticism for the law stems from amendments derived from lobbying by Lebanon’s powerful religious establishment.
Domestic violence against woman remains one of the worlds most pressing human rights issues. In February Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai [official website] ordered changes [JURIST report] to controversial proposed legislation which rights groups believe would effectively deny women protection from domestic violence and forced marriage. The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released a study [JURIST report] in December that raised concern over the treatment of women in the country. In November Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Wednesday criticized [JURIST report] Hungary for failing to protect the rights of female victims of domestic abuse. The report claims that women who were abused by their partners face difficulties in obtaining protection and other related services.