The First Deputy of Speaker of the House of Representatives, MP. Khamis Attiyah, affirmed that the Parliament is open to dialogue with all of the segments of society including civil society organizations and political parties to improve legislation and achieve the best for the society and the country. He added that upon the directives of His Majesty King Abdullah II, the parliament has accomplished all the legislations governing political life towards a modern and democratic Jordan. He also said: “What matters to us in the House of Representatives is the enactment of a civilized Personal Status Law that maintains the family structure and preserves its unity.”
This came during a consultation session organized by the Coalition in cooperation with the House of Representatives and the Office of the Government Coordinator for Human Rights at the Prime Ministry which was held to exchange views on the Personal Status Law which is in the process of discussion within the parliament. Attiyah stressed in this regard his keenness to make this law achieve cohesion saying: “We do not want any script or amendment leading to the dismantling of the family, which is the cornerstone of the cohesion of the society.”
During the session, which was held in Akef al-Fayez Hall, and attended by a number of MPs, representatives of government institutions, civil society organizations, media organizations, journalists, experts, and specialists, Attiyah hailed the efforts made by the Parliamentary Legal Committee and the meetings it had with all concerned women’s bodies and civil society organizations. Attiyah expressed his hopes that this consultation session will lead to recommendations, suggestions, and positive ideas that will produce the best script for the Jordanian Arab Islamic society to preserve the Arab Islamic heritage and the Islamic values.
In her opening speech, the Chairperson of the Coalition, MP Wafa’ Bani Mustafa, said that holding this meeting at this time is an ideal opportunity to discuss the personal status law on the basis of a constructive dialogue to produce results and recommendations that benefit both the community and the family. She pointed out that this law is being discussed in a number of Arab countries. She stressed on the need to come out with common approaches, observations and recommendations to submit them early to be taken into account upon the adoption of the law.
She pointed to the key points and recommendations reached by the coalition during the workshops and conferences held to this end with all concerned and interested parties. She also called for the need to take into account the Jordanian Constitution, which is based on legal rules and enlightened jurisprudence, during the adoption of the law.
The Head of the Parliamentary Legal Committee, lawyer Hussein al-Qaisi, said that this law gains a particular importance and took broad discussions as it is the law that governs the affairs of the society and the family in terms of rights and duties. He said “We are open to all opinions and are interested in hearing all views in order to reach to a consensus in terms of the script and to reach to a modern law that addresses the Jordanian situation within the rules of Islamic law.”
The Government Coordinator for Human Rights, Bassel Tarawneh, said: “We are concerned to follow up all the recommendations related to human rights, especially those related to the Personal Status Law.” He stressed the need to continue the universal periodic review of human rights, and to hold consultative meetings aimed at developing the human rights system, protecting the community security system, and achieving Jordan’s national and international commitments.
During the meeting, participants discussed a number of points relating to the Personal Status Law, demanding that some articles of the law should be reviewed and amended for the benefit of the society and the family.
Participants called for the need to reconsider the age of marriage, custody right for the mother incase of marriage, the visitation right at the mother’s home, divorce because of the absence of the husband, and establishing better controls over the custodian or the guardian if he/ she travels with the child. They stressed on the importance of having legal capacity to persons with disabilities, the best practices towards children, the right to establish filiation, the issue of inheritance in case of interfaith differences, and the mandatory will for the children of the daughter who dies before her bequeather.
They called for the right to a continuous alimony for imprisoned women as this constitutes a double penalty, and they demanded that women not waive child support in case of abdicative divorce. They also called for the need of a fair compensation in the case of arbitrary divorce especially after long marriage.