- Libya adopts unprecedented decrees protecting victims of crimes of sexual violence
Victims of sexual violence used as a weapon of war during the Libyan revolution can now legally seek reparation in Libya. The Minister of Justice, Mr Salah El Marghany, adopted an unprecedented decree
in February 2014 recognizing victims of sexual violence as victims of war. This historic step was taken following a high level meeting, organised by FIDH and its partners with Mr El Marghany and several French leaders to express support for the text and call upon the Libyan Congress to assume its responsibility in breaking the taboo that surrounds rape and sexual violence. In June, a second decree
establishing the structure tasked with identifying the victims and according reparation was passed.
- FIDH’s Report « Egypt : Keeping Women Out – Sexual Violence in the public sphere »
Sexual harassment and assault against women remain rife, FIDH and its partner organisations warn in a report
released in April, constituting major obstacles to their participation in the political transition of their country. Successive governments have failed to take measures to stop violence against women and such crimes continue to meet with complete impunity. The report presents over 250 cases, which took place between November 2012 and January 2014, in which women protesters were sexually assaulted and in some cases raped, by mobs of men.
Read full report
- Advocacy to advance women’s rights in Ugandan family law
In many areas related to marriage and divorce, Ugandan law discriminates against women or fails to protect their rights. Reform of the Ugandan law on marriage and divorce has been on the table for 50 years. The latest draft proposed, the Marriage and Divorce Bill, has its flaws, but it provides for minimum guarantees with regard to age of marriage and spouses’ consent. It also provides for equal rights regarding matrimonial property and divorce and outlaws the practice of levirate. The Bill came before Parliament most recently in July 2013 but the session was suspended to allow for further consultations to take place.
Alerted by its member organisation in Uganda, the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI)
, FIDH sent an international fact-finding / advocacy mission to Uganda in January and February 2014. During the mission, FIDH and FHRI, documented and analysed the obstacles to the adoption of the Bill.
In June, FIDH and FHRI, referred discriminatory provisions in the Ugandan marriage and divorce law
to the United Nations Working Group on discrimination against women, in law and in practice. The information submitted emphasized the need for Uganda to consolidate existing laws and provide for more equal rights between women and men, by passing the Marriage and Divorce Bill.