Ending ‘Marry-Your-Rapist’ Laws

WLP logo

Within weeks of each other in the summer of 2017, Lebanon, Jordan and Tunisia all closed legal loopholes allowing rapists to escape criminal convictions by marrying the survivor. It’s a huge victory for feminists in the region who have long campaigned to end the practice, which is supposed to restore “honor” to survivors’ families after an assault.

Channel grantee partner Women’s Learning Partnership (WLP), their Jordanian partner Sisterhood Is Global Institute/Jordan (SIGI-J), and the Jordanian Civil Alliance successfully led a four-year campaign to abolish Article 308 from the Penal Code (which allowed a perpetrator of sexual crimes, including rape, to escape punishment by marrying his victim and remaining with her for 5 years). In August 2017 the Jordanian parliament voted to remove Article 308 from the Penal Code.

WLP and SIGI-J’s persistent, widespread training and mobilization of grassroots women and men, human rights activists, and civil society organizations, and continued outreach to the media, policymakers, and other officials spurred public awareness and debate that ultimately pressured decision-makers to respond — a significant legislative reform victory toward establishing non-discriminatory laws and procedures for women, advancing the rights of women in the family, and combating violence against women and girls.