Jordan: mobile unit for women’s rights culture

by Luciana Borsatti) (ANSAmed) – ROME –

Training courses for judges and lawyers, direct information campaigns targeting women, and even mobile units travelling from town to town to encourage victims of domestic violence to report their situation, will all be part of a project, in which Italian NGO, the Italian Consortium of Solidarity (ICS) will participate in Jordan. The project has just obtained financing from the European Institute of Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), along with another 9 local NGOs. The project, which is about to begin in collaboration with local partner Mizan, aims to promote the effective application of the UN convention to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW), which was formally implemented in recent months in Jordan. Barbara Lilliu, the coordinator of the project says that one of the critical issues to be faced will be trials for honour crimes, where in the majority of cases the guilty party gets away with a lenient sentence, where judges grant extenuating circumstances to men who are believed to have been motivated by honour, even though they are guilty of homicide,. For this reason, training is needed for judges and prosecutors in the legal principals upheld by the convention.

But the main focus of the project, underlined Barbara Lilliu, are lawyers, whose who have the most contact with society and are best able to spread a new culture of rights. They will be the ones to start a series of training courses and campaigns to raise awareness targeted directly at women, which will cover a large part of Jordan. ”The use of a mobile unit is also expected, in order to carry out the project,” continued Lilliu, ”which will go from town to town and will give those who have been the victims of violence the opportunity to have legal counselling on how to report their cases. We will also prepare informational material on the convention and on Jordanian law”.

Direct contact with women will be fundamental, as they are the main victims of domestic violence in the country. Last month in a conference in Amman supported by Queen Rania of Jordan, it was learned that the National Institute of Forensic Medicine registered 600 cases of abuse on women in 2008. A study carried out by the Minister of Social Development highlighted that 80% of domestic violence victims are married women. (ANSAmed).

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