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PA Minister of Women’s Affairs pushes ‎Penal Law that will protect women from ‎violence

     ‎“[PA] Minister of Women's Affairs Rabiha ‎Dhiab said yesterday [May 20, 2014] that ‎the finishing touches are currently being ‎put on the proposed Penal Law, and ‎spoke of the law’s importance in stopping ‎crimes of femicide. Dhiab spoke during ‎the sit-down strike held in front of Prime ‎Minister [Rami Hamdallah]’s Headquarters ‎in Ramallah, at the request of Tawasul ‎‎(contact) centers, the ministry, and ‎women’s groups such as the Palestinian ‎Non-Governmental Organization Against ‎Domestic Violence Against Women (Al Muntada),‎to demand the bill’s ratification. ‎In addition, she praised [PA] President ‎Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to cancel ‎mitigating circumstances in [cases] of ‎femicide… ‎
Fatima Dana, a legal advisor who ‎specializes in women’s issues, noted that ‎the aim of this activity (i.e., the sit-down ‎strike) was to emphasize the importance of ‎ratifying the bill quickly, and said: ‘The ‎ongoing amendments to the two penal ‎laws, whether the one in effect in the ‎West Bank or [the one in effect] in the ‎Gaza Strip, are insufficient, especially ‎since both laws are old, and even the two ‎states (i.e., Jordan and Egypt) that ‎published them amended them already ‎decades ago.’‎
Lubna Al-Ashqar, public relations chief for ‎the Women’s Affairs Team, said: ‘There ‎are many sections [of the law] that should ‎be amended, not just certain sections.’ ‎She added that the [strikers’] basic ‎demand was the ratification of a modern, ‎social penal law that would answer the ‎aspirations and the struggle of the ‎Palestinian woman…‎
In a position paper published on its ‎behalf, the Palestinian Non-‎Governmental Organization Against ‎Domestic Violence Against Women (Al Muntada)… ‎expressed its concern about the increase ‎in the rate of femicide cases, which ‎necessitates the publication of a ‎presidential decree ratifying the proposed ‎penal law submitted to the Legislative ‎Council (PA Parliament), the government ‎and the President by the civil social ‎institutions and the National Group for the ‎‎[formulation of the] Bill. In addition, he ‎noted that an honorary convention, [which ‎is to serve] until the [bill’s] ratification, was ‎recently published with the common ‎consent of all PLO factions.”‎

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