Wednesday, December 3, 2014


As Part of the Events of the 16-Day Campaign for the Elimination of Violence against Women
Nazra For Feminist Studies & The Center For Egyptian Women's Legal Assistance (CEWLA) Launch “Qanun Nashaz” For The Elimination Of Legalized Violence Against Women.

In conjunction with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the "Qanun Nashaz" Campaign was launched on November 25th 2014 by Nazra For Feminist Studies and the Center For Egyptian Women's Legal Assistance (CEWLA)  as a part of their contribution to the annual 16-day Campaign for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which ends on the 10th of December, in conjunction with the International Human Rights Day. The "Qanun Nashaz" Campaign tackles all the legal issues which legitimize violent practices against women, in both public and private spheres.  

The "Qanun Nashaz" Campaign, under the motto "behind every abused Woman, there is a Law", is conducted in light of the increasing number of gang rape and sexual assault survivors, with more than 500 cases documented between June 2012 and June 2014, let alone the other violations and practices of sexual, physical, and verbal violence which women suffer on a daily basis in both public and private spheres. Meanwhile, existing laws fail to protect these women or hold the perpetrators of such crimes accountable in a manner which ensures the effective administration of justice. The "Qanun Nashaz" campaign attempts to address all the legal issues associated with violence against women, by highlighting flaws in existing laws. For example, while the Penal Code was amended in June 5th 2014 by adding Articles '306 bis A' and '306 bis B' (jointly referred to in the Media as the "Harassment Law"), through Presidential Decree-Law no. 50/2014 promulgated by the former interim President Adly Mansour; the fundamental precepts of the Code with regard to rape, sexual assault, and harassment remain flawed and inadequate. Moreover, there exists a body of law which provides a legal umbrella for violence against women in the private sphere, giving such violence the semblance of legal acceptance. Consequently, the rights of many abused women are undermined, particularly in connection with the use of Article 60 of the Penal Code to justify domestic violence, and of Article 17 of the same code in commuting sentences, especially in cases of rape. The primary goal of the campaign is, therefore, to push for legal amendments that would prioritize Women’s rights and their protection from violence. Moreover, the "Qanun Nashaz" Campaign seeks to shed light on the need for developing and implementing a comprehensive national strategy to ensure that state institutions engage with this important matter, and that Personal Status Laws and the Penal Code are amended to properly address violence against women in general, while guaranteeing that women are provided with the necessary support to uphold their inherent right to physical and moral integrity.

The 16-day "Qanun Nashaz" Campaign seeks to engage different segments of society in a variety of discussions about violence against women and its legal dimensions, through a multiplicity of media and artistic channels, such as blogging, tweeting, interactive presentations, storytelling, articles, visual arts, and graffiti. The first event of the campaign will be launched on November 25th 2014, with an opening conference at the Cairo Swiss Club in El-Kitkat, followed by an interactive presentation and a number of art shows, each dealing with one aspect of violence against women.

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