In Jordan: Women hold demonstration against parliament's rejection of rights bills
A few dozen women assembled in front of Jordan's Parliament Sunday to protest lawmakers' rejection of two proposals to give Jordanian women more rights and protection.
"We are your daughters, don't let us down!" Rana Husseini, a women's rights activist, shouted each time a lawmaker passed in front of the gathering of banner-waving women from the Union of the Jordanian Woman, human rights activists, intellectuals and homemakers.
Lawyer Rim Abu-Hassan, head of the Association for the Victims of Family Abuse, told AP that the Jordanian protesters argued that the amendments, condemned as foreign and un-Islamic by some lawmakers, were instead derived from "Muslim law, and not imported from the West."
While parliament was dormant in 2001, the government amended laws to allow women to file for divorce and allow courts to impose harsh punishment on what has become known as "honor killings" - men who kill women relatives who are perceived to have shamed family honor.
"We want to tell parliament members that we don't accept the law they have revoked," Arwa Aamiry, a professor of psychology at the University of Jordan, told AFP as she participated in the protest.
"We want to be able to divorce our men when we wish and have the basic rights of being free," Aamiry said, firmly echoing the opinions of the demonstrators who gathered outside parliament at the invitation of several Jordanian women groups.
After June 17 parliamentary elections, the changes had to be reviewed by the 110-seat Chamber of Deputies, which on August 3 rejected the amendments to the Civil Status Law and the Penal Code. The bills still have a chance to become law, but only after what could be protracted negotiations with the royal-appointed Senate. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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