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International Women's Day: 5 times women take to streets to safeguard their rights

Swapna Mohanty | Updated on: 8 March 2018, 16:17 IST

Today most of the women across the globe would be receiving messages from friends and colleagues wishing them and congratulating them and calling it their day but it is time to reckon, rollback and have a look at the year 2017 women related laws passed.

These laws would inspire and motivate to have a similar or better year ahead with many more new laws.

Marry-the-rapist-law

Also called as the rape-marriage law is a law which acquits an accused of rape and sexual assault if he marries the victim. Although the term 'rape-marriage law' was coiled in 2010, yet, it has been widely in practice since 1970's. In Middle Eastern and North African countries, this law was prevalent but on August 16, 2017, Lebanon government repealed this law which gave the accuser the provision of easy escape.

Places like Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Peru had this law in past but after constant pressure from many women activists, this was repealed. One such historic repeal of 'rape-marriage law' happened in August last year in Lebanon after a women’s rights group in Lebanon called Abaad did a rigorous campaign.

Gruesome billboards around Lebanon capital having a bloodied and torn bridal gown

Places like Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Peru had this law in past but after constant pressure from many women activists, this was repealed. One such historic repeal of 'rape-marriage law' happened in August last year in Lebanon after a women’s rights group in Lebanon called Abaad did a rigorous campaign.

Women’s abortion law

In between the year 1989 and year 2017, Chile had one of the most restrictive abortion policies in the world, criminalising its practice without exception. Ever since 1990, 15 abortion-related bills were submitted in parliament but to no effect.

In the year 2015 when the President of centre-left, Michelle Bachelet placed a bill in Congress to allow abortion when a woman’s life is at risk, in case of rape and when a foetus is not viable.

Like the Marry-the-rapist law, this too after a lot of hardship came into effect at the end of August. Chile’s Constitutional Tribunal voted to ease the country’s total ban on abortion, passing legislation that legalises abortion under three cases.

 

 

 

Triple talaq

In August last year, the Indian Supreme Court revoked instant triple talaq unconstitutional. This age-old practice gave Muslim men the right to legally divorce his wife by stating the word talaq three times. Raising the issue of gender equality and human rights. 

This issue came to limelight  two-year-back  after a Muslim organisation called Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), launched a campaign to ban triple talaq and "nikah halala" 

Following this protest and campaign on August 2, 2017, the Indian Supreme Court deemed instant triple talaq unconstitutional. 

Revolt against sexual harassment in France

For eliminating violence against women on November 25 last year, French President Emmanuel Macron launched an initiative to target violence and harassment against women in France. As per record, 123 women were killed in 2016 by their partners.

France government is all set to change sexual crimes against minors to 30 years from 20 and establish the age of sexual consent at 15. Presently, there is no age of consent.

Jordan Marry the victim law

The controversial law which allows rapists to escape punishment through marrying their victims. Even this law compels the accuser and victim to stay together for at least three years. 57-year-after, the Jordanian parliament in August voted to abolish article 308 of its penal code.

This law was framed after women’s rights advocate Wafa Bani Mustafaproposed the end of the provision. Hundreds of civil society activists staged protests outside the parliament building. It was after 5,000 signatures in a short amount of time from the public in support of reform.

First published: 8 March 2018, 15:44 IST
 
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