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Victory for girls’ rights in Jordan

8 August 2017
On 1 August 2017, the Jordanian parliament took the historic decision to repeal Article 308 of its penal code, which allowed rapists to avoid prosecution if they married their victims.

Girls in classroom, Jordan
Girls studying in their classroom. Plan International's programme activities in Jordan are focused on child labour, child marriage and education.

On 1 August 2017, the Jordanian parliament took the historic decision to repeal Article 308 of its penal code, which allowed rapists to avoid prosecution if they married their victims.

Rape is a crime – a violation of girls’ and women’s rights that should never go unpunished

Activists had long campaigned for the abolition of this controversial ‘rape law’ and Tuesday’s announcement was the result of decades of hard work.

Child rights organisation Plan International welcomes the decision as an important milestone towards achieving gender equality.

Muna Abbas, Head of Mission for Plan International in Jordan, said:

"The announcement by parliament to repeal its controversial rape law is a huge step forward for the women’s rights movement in Jordan. Rape is a crime – a violation of girls’ and women’s rights that should never go unpunished, and we applaud the fantastic efforts of those who worked so hard to get this archaic piece of legislation scrapped.

“However, we must not forget that there is still a long way to go. Girls face terrible stigma in their communities if they are raped, so although this law change is a historic achievement, the next challenge will be to change public opinion so that families and communities no longer cast girls aside, but rather support them to cope with what has happened to them, and help them rebuild their lives.”

Editor's notes

Plan International started its operations in Jordan in 2016 with an aim to build resilience among Syrian refugees and host communities. We support longer-term solutions for Syrian refugees to become self-reliant, as well as the strengthening of national systems in Jordan to meet the needs of both Syrian refugees and Jordanians.

Our extensive research shows that girls continue to be the single most excluded group in the world: they face discrimination and abuse simply for being young and female, and these challenges are even more pronounced during disasters and emergencies – something that is reflected among refugee communities in Jordan. Our programme activities are focused on child labour, child marriage and the education of children under five years old to help address these challenges and to meet girls’ needs.

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