Jordan kills women’s rights laws

Jordan’s newly-elected parliament has thrown out temporary laws allowing women the right to divorce their husbands and providing harsher punishments for those guilty of so-called “honour crimes”.

    Jordanian women will not be allowed to divorce their spouses

    Islamist and conservative members of parliament mounted a coalition to reject the laws passed previously by the cabinet, according to parliamentary sources on Monday.

    Jordanian Prime Minister Ali Abu Ragheb vigorously defended the laws, stressing they did not violate religious decrees.

    Islamists claimed allowing women the right to divorce without their husband’s consent would “destroy families”.

    Conservatives said it would cause “harm” to homes and the “negative reaction” in parts of Jordan to its enforcement.

    The House of Representatives also rejected legislation scrapping lighter sentences for those found guilty of “honour crimes”.

    This murder describes the killing of a woman by a male relative if he believes she has insulted the family’s honour through her sexual behaviour.

    Although the divorce and honour crime laws were referred to the Senate, political sources believed they would be returned to the lower house, which would call on the government to annul them.

    Parliament referred 86 out of the 200 temporary laws to special committees, including a law on fixed rents, which some MPs believe could pave the way to selling land to Israelis.

    MPs were also critical of a law allowing the government to appoint half the make-up of town councils.

    SOURCE: AFP


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