More on this petition:
Click here to download the PDF file of our demands and research on each country. Also available on www.StopFemicides.com The research and analysis in the above document can serve as a starting point for government leaders to take action towards ending violence against women. Afghanistan: We believe the Afghani government should act on the following: A complete overhaul of the Afghan legal system to ensure that a survivor of gender-based violence is not criminalized, as the law currently translates to say that “both the offender and the victim” must be criminalized. A targeted social campaign to end ‘honor’ killings and femicide in all forms in cooperation with NGOs. Seeing as how Afghanistan has been a part of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) since 2003, it is critical that the Afghan government lives up to its commitment and repeal all laws that are not compatible with the CEDAW. An equal distribution of shelters for women around the country, and implementation of courses regarding sexual violence to raise awareness regarding women’s rights and laws in schools Armenia: We believe that the Armenian government must act to complete the following tasks: Ensure all forms of femicide are legally equated to murder regardless of party relationship, as well as ensure the full criminalization of domestic violence. Create laws protecting children -- and especially young girls -- from being forced into marriages at a young age. Create, fund, and implement training programs for the public and government actors, which seek to challenge gender and sex biases as well as ensure femicide is viewed as wrong. In addition, it is critical that the police are properly trained to understand the emotional and physical realities of domestic violence -- so they may help survivors, not traumatize them. Provide job-training programs for the general public directed at filling vacancies in shelters across Armenia. In addition, the program should specifically target women and gender minorities to build a future of economic equality. Seeing as how Armenia has been a part of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) since 1993, it is critical that the Armenian government lives up to its commitment and repeal all laws that are not compatible with the CEDAW. Azerbaijan: In order to appropriately combat this ever-present violence against the women and children of Azerbaijan, the government must act swiftly. We believe that the government of Azerbaijan should implement the following changes and aggressively work towards the full equality and safety of women in Azerbaijan: Enactment of legislation that would give women the autonomy to obtain a restraining order against perpetrators of violence. A training program designed for law enforcement and judiciary officials to ensure they properly understand how to look for the warning signs of domestic violence, as well as ensure they’re aware of the psychological and physical effects. In addition, it is critical that the appropriate State officials work to guarantee the judiciary actively educated complaints on their rights under the Court of law. If such is not done, it is critical for the State to hold such officials accountable. An intergovernmental public campaign to combat discrimination and violence against women and gender minorities in all aspects of both private and personal life. An executive-level effort to develop and further implement the national mechanism for prevention of domestic violence, as foreseen in the Domestic Violence Law. Seeing as how Azerbaijan has been a part of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) since 1995, it is critical that the government of Azerbaijan lives up to its commitment and repeal all laws that are not compatible with the CEDAW. In addition, we believe it imperative for state actors to join the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention), which is the most comprehensive international treaty dealing with these issues. Bahrain: We need the Bahrain Government to act on this institutionalized discrimination and violence by mandating the following: The protection of survivors of abuse -- and specifically women -- by repealing the “marry your rapist” loophole in article 353. The full expansion of penalties for 'honor' killings by redefining article 334, ensuring that it acts as a blanket policy rather than giving reduced penalties to specific forms of violence. Finally addressing the reality of intimate partner violence in the penal code and all other laws in order to ensure proper proactive and reactive safety measures for women, who may face such violence. A full-government targeted assessment of ways to both proactively and reactively aid women and other victims of intimate partner violence. Cyprus: We need the Government of Cyprus to take swift action on the following: Guarantee that femicide is labeled as a sex-based crime, as well as ensure that there is an intergovernmental reassessment of how sex-based acts of violence are mitigated, discussed, and reactively treated for both the survivor and perpetrator. A strong commitment, funding effort, and enactment of training in relation to gender-based violence for police officers, judges, lawyers, health, religious leaders, and social workers. Repeal all laws that are not compatible with the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), as Cyprus has been a state party to CEDAW since 1985. Establish and properly fund shelters for the victims of domestic and family violence. Promoting gender equality through the media and the education system, including how to combat violence against women and avoid gender stereotypes. Egypt: The Egyptian government must act swiftly and with great courage to complete the following tasks: A new intergovernmental strategy to combat violence against women, which includes a penal code and larger institutional changes. A strong commitment, funding effort, and enactment of training in relation to gender-based violence for police officers, judges, lawyers, health, religious leaders, and social workers. A widespread public campaign to both acknowledge the importance of women in Egyptian society as well as address the issues of gender-based violence. In addition, it is critical that it explicitly states that not even religion should or can justify ‘honor’ killings. The creation of a fully-funded all-women shelter for those who experience instances of intimate partner violence. In addition, the shelter must have free access to social services such as counseling and case managers to help aid in these moments of crisis. A complete expansion of the penal code to truly understand rape as possible both in and out of wedlock, as well as to fully grasp the reality of non-penile penetration when it comes to sexual violence. An expansion of the personal status law to include women and gender minorities so there is truly access to both financial autonomy and security. Iran: The Iranian government must be diligent in combating gender-based violence within their territory and act on the following: The enactment of a broad law that defines gender-based violence such as marital rape and child marriage, which edits the penal code to criminalize such violence. The abolishment of the death penalty for rape as it does not deter any form of gender-based violence. Engaging and participating in the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The inclusion of protections for women and other gender minorities, as well as sexual minorities, in Iranian law. Enact a clear definition of what constitutes acts against chastity which does not criminalize consensual acts and LGBTQ+ peoples. Iraq: We need an intergovernmental approach to tackling such discrimination and violence against Iraqi women. The following are necessary first steps to achieving a femicide-free Iraq: A reassessment and complete overhaul of the Iraqi Penal Code to strengthen punishments for crimes committed with honorable’ motives, as well as prevent early marriages as young as 15-years-old and to strengthen protections against forced and temporary marriages in -- including eliminating the exception to an annulment of forced marriages for those that have been consummated. Enactment of the pending Family Violence Protection Law with the amendment clarifying that NGOs may provide shelter and establish a legal framework for NGOs to operate shelters that provide assistance to victims of all forms of gender-based and domestic violence. In addition, there must be a committed effort to protect NGO run shelters and their staff from warrantless searches, arbitrary harassment, and violence and train its police and judicial personnel An intergovernmental approach to implement the National Strategy to End Violence Against Women and address cultural attitudes that permit “honor” killings. A repeal of all laws that are not compatible with the CEDAW. Israel: We call upon the Israeli government to act in justice, safety, and care for women by enacting the following: Proper funding of the respective agencies who were involved in the 2017 national plan to fight domestic violence, as well as ensuring there is an expansion of direct aid to survivors of violence. An intergovernmental approach to combat ‘coercive control’ with the presence of firearms in both the public and home-life setting. Repeal all laws that are not compatible with the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) since Israel has been a state party to CEDAW since 1991. Jordan: we believe the Jordanian government should take an intergovernmental approach to combat violence against women and enact the following. A Guarantee of, adequate protection for all women in a manner that preserves their safety and dignity. These laws should include strict penalties to deter attempts to abuse women and threaten their livelihoods. A clarification of the definition of “intimate partner violence” to ensure that law enforcement, the judiciary, and survivors can understand the full scope of such violence. A mandate of the Judiciary to play a role in resolving conflicts arising from cases of intimate partner violence. A full government effort to support the economic success and equality of Jordanian women, as financial independence is the strongest way to empower survivors and women who wish to engage with society and combat both poverty and violence against women. Kuwait: We believe that the Kuwait government should enact the following to protect Kuwait women’s dignity and safety: A complete repeal of Article 153 of Kuwait’s penal code, which stipulates that a man who murders his wife (or daughter, sister, or mother) after catching her in an adulterous act can receive a maximum punishment of three years in prison and/or a fine of up to 225 Kuwaiti Dinars (about $748 US dollars). A full intergovernmental effort to combat violence against women, which must be led by the newly formed committee. Repeal all laws that are not compatible with the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) as Kuwait has been a state party to CEDAW since 1994. Criminalize all types of sexual violence, including marital rape. Repeal provisions that provide lenient sentences for crimes of "honor" Lebanon: We believe that the Lebanese Parliament must be clear and direct when combatting violence against women by enacting the following: A full expansion of the definition of domestic violence, which would criminalize marital rape and sex with children. An abolishment of child marriage by setting a minimum age for marriage. In addition, it is critical that Lebanese officials close the loophole that allows abusers and rapists to escape punishment in offenses relating to sex with children aged 15 to 17, and sex with virgin girls, with a promise of marriage. A strong commitment, funding effort, and enactment of training in relation to gender-based violence for police officers, judges, lawyers, health, religious leaders, and social workers. A complete repeal of all laws discriminating on the basis of sex and gender. A complete repeal of all laws that are not compatible with the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), as Lebanon has been a state party to CEDAW since 1997. Oman: We believe it necessary for the Omani government to reassess and fully commit to the equality of women and girls by enacting the following: A complete repeal of all laws that are not compatible with the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Adoption of a specific law on violence against women, including domestic violence, in line with the UN Committee’s general recommendation No. 19 (1992) and establish appropriate redress mechanisms accessible to all women including domestic workers, who are victims of violence, and ensure that perpetrators are prosecuted and adequately punished. An intergovernmental effort to change the community, business, government and religious officials, law enforcement and judiciary, and others mindset on sex and gender equality. This looks like gender-sensitive and violence-focused training(s), community outreach programs, promoting the active role of women in society and institutions, as well as so much more. A creation of shelters, counseling, and rehabilitation services throughout the territory of the State party with appropriate funding. Palestine: With restrictions on both Palestinian land and Palestinian women’s livelihoods, we still believe that the Palestinian Authority has the mandate to guarantee the safety of women and girls by completing the following: The establishment of a law defining domestic violence and intimate partner violence, which provides both penalties for the abuser and protections for survivors. Ensuring judges are properly trained on the realities of gender-based violence, as well as closely monitored to ensure there is no impunity for such cases of gender-based violence. The establishment of health guidelines and protocols for the treatment of survivors of gender-based violence. Additionally, it is critical that the Palestinian Authority properly trains such health officials to not only treat the effects but to detect such realities on women and girls. Be true to form in combatting forced marriages in cases of young women who’ve been coerced to marry their rapist by guaranteeing safe, legal abortions and the registration of children born outside of wedlock. Enactment of an intergovernmental effort to root out cultural inequalities, bias, and violence against women, gender, and sexual minorities. Qatar: We believe that the Qatar governing bodies must act in the following ways: Establish a specialized government office devoted to women’s safety, rights, and full equality. Allow women to get a divorce unilaterally without the permission of guardians, witnesses, or their husbands. Establish equal guardianship laws to give both mothers and fathers equal opportunity to become guardians based on their qualifications and not sex. Provide maternity care without requiring women to present a marriage certificate. Pass laws defining and criminalizing interpersonal violence, at-large domestic violence, and marital rape. Repeal all laws that are not compatible with the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Establish and properly fund shelters for the victims of domestic and family violence. Reform the legal system so that women and men are treated equally under the Law. Ensure that women are guaranteed their enate right to movement. Women should not need a man’s permission to travel and husbands or father should not be able to restrict their movement under the law. Establish health guidelines and protocols for the treatment of survivors of gender-based violence. Additionally, it is critical that there is proper training for health officials to not only treat the effects but to detect such realities on women and girls. Ensuring judges and law enforcement officers are properly trained on the realities of gender-based violence, as well as closely monitored to ensure there is no impunity for such cases of gender-based violence. Improve access to compassionate and confidential legal services so more women are willing to report their abusers. Saudi Arabia: We believe that the government of Saudi Arabia must reassess its commitment to safety and justice, as well as complete the following: Establish a minimum age for marriage to finally an end to child marriage. Ensure women are able to access and leave shelters without the reliance on a male guardian’s approval. In addition, it is important that the Saudi government properly funds such institutions to ensure the best conditions for survivors of violence. A complete repeal of all laws that are not compatible with the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), as Saudi Arabia has been a state party to CEDAW since 2000. In addition to the actions that the Saudi Arabian government must take, we believe that the international community should act as well. All international governments and private organizations should call for the release of every single imprisoned women’s rights activist, the safeguarding of women’s right to freedom of expression and association, and for the complete abolition of the male guardianship system. These calls, in turn, will pressure the Saudi government to complete the actions above (and more). Syria: The time to act in solidarity with Syrian women is now. With the impending war creating the conditions of poverty and fear, the rates at which child marriages and femicide are occurring are immense. Thus, we believe that the Syrian government, officials, and the global community must act boldly in the following ways: Ensure equal criminalization of rape both within and outside of marriage, as well as guarantee ‘honor’ killings are punishable under law as well. Ensure all sanctions are lifted off of the Syrian peoples to make way for an end to the war and economic deprivation that has occurred. Commit to a cultural campaign that empowers women and educates them on the realities of intimate partner violence and sexual violence at-large. Increase global funding for women’s shelters and social services to aid women and children. Seeing as how Syria has been a part of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) since 2003, we believe that the Syrian government repeal all laws that are not compatible with the CEDAW. Turkey: In order to combat such violence and inequality, the Turkish government should act on the following: Complete eradication of government and police complicity in protecting femicide perpetrators despite laws in place. Enact a law clearly defining illegality of and the penalties for femicide, gender-based violence, and all forms of domestic violence. A financial, legal, and structural commitment Protections and emergency services for those being forced to commit suicide for “honor” reasons. Seeing as how Turkey has been a part of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) since 1985, it is critical that the Syrian government lives up to its commitment and repeal all laws that are not compatible with the CEDAW. Full implementation of the Council of Europe’s treaty designed to prevent violence and domestic abuse against women (the “Istanbul Convention”) rather than withdraw from it. The UAE: In order to combat the still present violence against women in the UAE, we believe it to be necessary that there be an intergovernmental approach to tackle the issues that plague women in the United Arab Emirates. Thus, the UAE must act in the following ways: Ensure an amendment is placed on all laws protecting workers, women, and citizens to ensure that domestic workers are at an equal place of safety when it comes to protection against gender-based violence. Guarantee and fund an accurate yearly assessment and tracking of acts of gender-based violence and the forms in which it may take place. Seeing as how the UAE has been a part of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) since 2004, it is critical that the UAE government lives up to its commitment and repeal all laws that are not compatible with the CEDAW. Yemen: These legal and economic realities in Yemen must be challenged in both a domestic and international way by enacting the following: Yemeni officials must treat femicide -- and, more specifically, ‘honor’ killings -- as homicide in the terms of criminal law. There must be a societal and governmental approach to empowering women’s leadership in governing positions. Seeing as how Yemen has been a part of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) since 1984, it is critical that the Yemeni government lives up to its commitment and repeal all laws that are not compatible with the CEDAW. In addition to such domestic policy and cultural changes, it is imperative that the global community aid in the ending of the Yemeni war and food crisis, as well as guarantee shelter to refugees.