Lower House approves domestic violence protection bill, amendments to banking law
The Jordan Times
AMMAN — Some male MPs defended the beating of women, as lawmakers approved the domestic violence protection bill and the amended banking law during two legislative sessions on Sunday
During the first session, MPs discussed for over an hour articles 11, 14 and 15 of the domestic violence bill.
Articles 11 and 14 of the domestic violence bill call for perpetrators of domestic violence to serve 40 hours of community service, house arrest and counselling sessions.
The debate initially saw articles 11 and 14 scrapped after a vote, though they were later reinstated after a second vote.
A number of MPs expressed the opinion that the articles were “impossible to implement” and “unfit for our society”.
Representing Amman, 5th District, Mustafa Assaf argued that article 11 will “cause division between disputants” and that the suggested punishments will “result in more trouble than solutions”.
Maan Deputy Mohammad Falahat said that “these articles do not fit the Jordanian society or traditions”, adding: "So what if the husband struck his wife once or twice? If she refers him to the court, he will divorce her.”
Saud Abu Mahfouz (Zarqa, 1st District) also argued that the articles were not suitable for Jordanian society, saying that “it seems that legislators forgot that we are in Jordan and not in Sweden, and we copy and paste laws without being mindful of our identity”.
“I do not deny the presence of domestic violence, but better measures should be taken”, Abu Mahfouz added.
The importance of these articles for the process of legal reform was highlighted by the Head of the Women and Family Affairs Committee, Reem Abu Dalbouh, who argued that “the core of reform measures lies in the disputed articles”.
Wafaa Bani Mustafa from Jerash challenged those MPs who criticised the articles to see firsthand the consequences of domestic violence.
“This issue concerns Jordanian society, and those who claim that these articles destroys society should see domestic violence cases,” Bani Mustafa said.
“If the minimum of protection is not accepted then we have a major issue”, she added.
The second session saw the Lower House approve the amended banking law, after it was referred to lawmakers from a joint committee formed of the Finance Committee and the Economy and Investment Committee.
The amended law aims to put in place oversight measures for the Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) and set rules governing the relation between board members and the executive management.
The amended law also aims to regulate oversight of Islamic banks, as well as giving the CBJ the ability to take alternative measures to help struggling banks in order to achieve financial stability.
Lawmakers also adopted a memorandum asking the government to actively deal with the issue of the over 10,000 governmental school buses operating without monitoring or licensing.