The Assembly of People’s Representatives adopted on Wednesday the comprehensive law on combating violence against women. With 146 votes in favor, 0 abstentions and 0 against, this law is a major step forward for the legal protection of women from violence committed against them. Defended by the civil society, this law resumes “all the recommendations” of this last indicates the lawyer and activist Ghazi Mrabet.
Among the measures it introduces is the amendment of article 227 bis of the Criminal Code. No longer provides impunity for the rapist. Indeed, in its old version, the article provided a possibility for the rapist to escape a prison sentence if he married his victim. According to the new article 227 bis, anyone who has sex with a minor under 16 years of age with their consent is punishable by 6 years of imprisonment. Anyone who has sexual intercourse with a girl over 16 years of age and under 18 years of age with her consent is also punishable by 5 years imprisonment. The penalties are doubled if the person is close to the person or exercises influence over him or her. However, if the “crime” is committed by a minor, section 59 of the Child Protection Act will apply.
Another measure is the prohibition of the employment of minors as domestic helpers, which will be sanctioned from 3 to 6 months imprisonment.
Discussed throughout the day, the age of sexual maturity was raised to 16 years instead of 13 years. Welcomed with happiness by civil society and social networks, this law is a step forward in the consecration of article 46 of the Constitution as indicated by the former member of the National Constituent Assembly Nadia Chaabane. It provides that “The State is committed to protecting women’s acquired rights, supporting them and working to improve them. The State guarantees equal opportunities for women and men to assume different responsibilities and in all fields. The State works to achieve parity between women and men in elected councils. The State shall take the necessary measures to eradicate violence against women. “