Euromed Feminist Initiative congratulates women’s rights, civil society and human rights organizations in Jordan for their prodigious efforts in the abolishment of Article 308 of the Jordanian Penal Code. This step is a historic achievement and a resounding victory for the women’s rights movement in Jordan.
The demand for abolishing Article 308 has been addressed in many conferences and events that were organized by Euromed Feminist initiative in Jordan, which gathered members of parliament, representatives of concerned ministries and representatives of civil society who discussed the dangerous social and individual effects of article 308 and stressed the importance of abolishing it to achieve gender equality and enhance the status of women in Jordan and in the whole region.
On Tuesday, 1st of August the Jordanian parliament voted to abolish article 308 of the Penal Code which allowed rapists to escape punishment if they marry their victims.
The government had previously suggested to abolish the article, but the Lower House Legal Committee had decided to keep the article and include exceptions in which offenders would not face punishment. Those exceptions included sexual acts involving girls aged between 15 and 18.
Women activists and civil society groups staged a sit-in outside Parliament before Tuesday’s session, circulated an electronic petition calling for the cancelation of Article 308 and organized an electronic campaign to express their rejection of any amendments to Article 308 and to reiterate their demands for the complete abolition of controversial Article 308. The electronic campaign gained massive interactions by the Jordanian citizens and the hashtag created for this campaign was one of the trending hashtags on Twitter for two days in Jordan.
The abolition of Article 308 is a long-awaited achievement for women in Jordan after years of campaigning against the controversial clause. It is a victory for women and for all women and men who stand for justice and equality resulted by the concerted effort of the civil society, women's rights and human rights organizations in Jordan.
We believe this important milestone is going to inspire other countries in the region to follow suit in repealing gender discriminatory laws.