ABAAD is a non-profit, non-politically affiliated, non-religious civil association that aims to achieve gender equality as an essential condition to sustainable social and economic development in the MENA region. ABAAD seeks to promote women’s equality and participation through policy development, legal reform, gender mainstreaming, engaging men, eliminating discrimination, and advancing and empowering women to participate effectively and fully in their communities. ABAAD also seeks to support and collaborate with civil society organizations that are involved in gender equality programs and advocacy campaigns. [Link]
I am all for promoting gender equality and ending violence against women but I don’t see how letting Muslim & Christian leaders endorse the “International 16 Days Campaign of Activism to End Violence Against Women (VAW) and Girls” is going to help in anyway.
Back in January 2012, a law that criminalizes violence perpetrated against women by family members was not passed due to pressure from religious leaders. Here’s what some of them had to say:
“The supreme Sunni Muslim authority in Lebanon, Dar El Fatwa, last summer issued a statement in response to a new draft law addressing domestic violence, claiming the proposal was intended to “break up the family similar to Western ways, which are foreign to our society and values.” Dar El Fatwa, as well as leading Shia religious figures in Lebanon, fear that putting the power to prosecute men for spousal abuse into the hands of the government would undermine the authority of Sharia courts in dealing with family matters. And in a country that is constitutionally divided along sectarian lines, such declarations directly affect the political process.” [Link]
So if religions truly prohibit violence against women, and religious leaders are agreeing with that, why isn’t the law passed once and for all? Wouldn’t it be better if the organization in question made them pressure the government to pass the law?