First off, why is there such a law allowing rapists to marry their victims to get away from rotting away in prison? That’s some bull. And the fact that her family would condone to such a thing is beyond ridiculous. There’s not even a word to describe the dreadfulness of this issue. When you evaluate the case and realize why 16 year old Amina killed herself, can you even blame her? She was forced to marry her rapist because apparently ‘losing your virginity is the same as losing your worth,’ it’s like having your freedom taken away from you twice. And I can’t for the love of all things good understand why people do some these things all in the name of their beliefs, but then again, who am I to question or judge them. Still, it’s quite sad to see how women are treated in these countries and how unjust their world can be.
Allow me to compose myself enough to clarify what exactly happened in this recent news that caught my eyes. A minister in Morocco’s Islamist government called for a change to a law allowing a rapist to marry his victim after a 16 year old teenager, Amina al-Filali, committed suicide upon being forced into such a preposterous union.
Bassima Hakkaoui, Minister for Women and Families and the only woman in the cabinet, called for a debate to reform the law on Thursday. Her predecessor in the post, Nouzha Skalli, also declared herself shocked by the affair and called for the law to be changed.
Amina drank rat poison after she was forced to marry the man who raped her. He wanted to escape prison by invoking an article of the penal code that authorises the rapist to marry to escape prosecution.
Sadly, families involved in these horrors often agree to this foolishness because a loss of a woman’s virginity outside of marriage is considered a dishonor to her family. Seriously?
On Thursday, 300 protesters staged a sit-in outside the local court that had approved the marriage, a demonstration organised by Morocco’s Democratic League for Women’s Rights.
On Wednesday the League’s president Fouzia Assouli condemned the relevant article of the law, saying that while it ostensibly defended family values it did not uphold the rights of women.
“The law treats the raped minor like a criminal even if she was the victim of violence,” Skalli told 2M television during an extended programme on the affair.
“We have to reform the criminal code to adapt to the new constitution, which forbids violence against women and ensures the equality of the sexes.”
The affair has also provoked an explosion of outrage in the news media and on the Internet. Activists have set up an online petition calling for the law to be changed, which within hours attracted hundreds of signatures.
Under Moroccan law, rape is punishable by five to 10 years in prison — or between 10 and 20 years if the victim is a minor.
Again, the fact that this was even made a law has left me speechless, but very appreciative of that we live in a time where something can be done and women can stand up for themselves. It’s about time for a change to come. Don’t you think?