Veep Pursuing Bill on Women’s Protection

Veep Pursuing Bill on Women’s Protection Veep Pursuing Bill on Women’s Protection

Masoumeh Ebtekar, the newly appointed vice president for women and family affairs, says she is determined to push “for the approval” of the bill on protection of women against violence.

Addressing the first meeting of the Women and Family Affairs Office last week, she referred to women’s protection and safety as a primary concern and promised to follow up with the long-pending bill, IRNA reported.

The Women’s’ Protection Bill was first proposed by the office during the second term of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2008-2013). But it was only during Hassan Rohani’s first presidential tenure that a team of legal experts compiled a draft bill under the supervision of former vice president for women and family affairs, Shahindokht Molaverdi.

Compiled in five chapters and 100 articles, the bill aims at ending violence against women by improving their legal rights, eliminating customs and traditions that are harmful to women and raising public awareness on the violence perpetrated against women.

The judiciary has been studying the bill for some time now. According to the legal deputy of the judiciary, Zabiholah Khoda’eian, the delay in approving the bill is due to the harsh punishments outlined in the bill for offenders. “We are trying to replace imprisonment with alternative punishments,” he said.

Ashraf Gerami-Zadegan, a legal advisor to Ebtekar, agrees with the pressing need to replace imprisonment with other forms punishment “if and when possible”, but says the punishment should be in proportion to the severity of the crime committed.

“When violence rises to a level called ‘crime’, the psychological and physical damage the women suffer must be made clear and compensated by law… the compensation could be in the form of money paid or imprisonment,” she says.

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