Source: Magharebia
Scores of Libyan women from human rights organisations staged a last protest Thursday (March 14th) opposite the cabinet headquarters to demand an end to violence.

They chanted slogans such as, "Open Doors, We Won't Be Silent Anymore!" and raised banners reading, "No to Violence, No to Rape, No to Kidnapping!" and "O, Libya, O, Libya, We Want Constitutional Rights!" and demanded that violence targeting women be stopped.

"The demonstration came in response to human and legal violations against women's rights," explained one woman carrying a banner reading, "No to violence against my humanity."

In a statement, the protestors said that it was the Libyan women's dignity day, and demanded that no one intervene in women's individual freedoms except within the limits of law.

They also demanded that the complaints women filed be examined as soon as possible, and that an entity specialised in treating domestic violence be created.

"We're partners in this revolution, sacrifices, reform, enlightenment and promotion of this homeland," one of them said.

"Where are the Islamic rights of women?" another demonstrator wondered. "Women are insulted although they are mothers, wives, sisters and daughters."

They also demanded the opening of an immediate investigation into the case of a girl who entered Tripoli Medical Centre clinically dead only to be allegedly raped there

The rape of the 18-year-old girl took place last month by a guard of the security committee, a hospital source said. She was clinically dead and on a respirator.

A Filipino male nurse entered and saw him, and then notified the head of the nursing staff, a woman, who then notified the administration and the ministry.

After that, the rapist's brother threatened the Filipino nurse, who was sent back to his home country by his country's embassy.

Five days ago, another element of the hospital's security detail from the security committee harassed a female doctor and caused a problem, the source added.

The source noted that there was a police station and, therefore, there was no need for the security committee, and that the hospital demands real police, not a security committee or gunmen.

The rally against gender violence came the same week that Libya's Fatwa Authority (Dar al-Iftaa) strongly condemned a UN document on women's rights. Libya's Grand Mufti Sadek al-Ghariani issued a statement March 10th in which he opposed the proposed text.

The Fatwa Authority said that the principles in the UN document were "destructive and unjust, and the least dangers it can cause are to ruin and disintegrate families and call for moral decay. In addition, it is against religion and the established foundations of Islamic Sharia."

The council explained that it objected to the document because of text on equal shares in inheritance, the replacement of men's leadership with partnership, and full sharing of roles in a family between man and woman in terms of expenditures, childcare, house affairs, etc.

It also noted the withdrawal of power of divorce from husbands and giving it to a court, the division of all properties after divorce, and giving the wife the right to file complaints against the husband for rape or harassment.

"This is an international document, and it is natural that it be presented in such a UN assembly in the presence of Arab, Islamic and Western countries. Exceptions are allowed for the countries that respect their religion," commented Khadija Abu Bakr, a retiree.

She noted that the articles that were not agreed upon were grouped alone and it was said that the state has approved the document except for the articles that are not in line with Islam, exactly like what happened with the child rights document.

"The mufti should have confirmed the main points by citing verses from the Holy Qur'an and have the document studied by a specialised committee, including the mufti himself," she added.

"No Muslim doubts that all forms of violence against women and denial of any of her rights are prohibited. However, the issue is about the meaning and definition of violence. Do the Islamic rulings involve abuse against women? It may be said that we may still sign the document and then explain it as per our own religion," housewife Oum Ahmed said.

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