On 15th of March 2018, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy within the framework of its regional programme supporting the Coalition of Women MPs from Arab countries to combat Violence against Women organised a workshop aimed at improving the implementation of laws against gender-based violence. The workshop entitled: ‘Post Legislative Scrutiny and Gender Based Violence Legislations in the Arab World’ was attended by Lebanese parliamentarians, parliamentary delegations from Morocco and Jordan, representatives from the Ministry of women affairs and national women commission in Tunisia and Jordan, Lebanese parliamentary staff and regional experts working on combating Violence against Women.
The project, funded by the British Embassy, aims to support Arab Parliaments to become more effective advocates for the rights of women and girls not to suffer violence, by encouraging increased public debate, development of legislation offering better protection, improved parliamentary oversight, and stronger political leadership on a regional and national level.
The objective of the workshop was to provide participants with the necessary methodology and tools to review how parliaments can follow up on the implementation of the Law on Protection against Violence against Women / Family Violence in Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia and Morocco. These countries have recently made significant progress in adopting new legislation that protects women from violence.
Chair of the Post Legislative Scrutiny Committee, MP. Yassine Jaber welcomed the participants and stressed on the importance of the parliament’s role to evaluate and follow up on the implementation of the laws. He stated that the efforts that goes into passing legislations is lost if these laws are not followed up with actual implementation.
The UK Ambassador to Lebanon, Mr. Hugo Shorter said “As the UK, we are putting women and girls at the heart of our foreign policy. Here in Lebanon the British Embassy has long been active on this issue, and we are proud to have supported this project for the past two years, helping the parliamentarians working on this cause to pass important legislation and, just as importantly, see that legislation properly implemented. As we honour the memory of our colleague Rebecca Dykes, we hope to do even more on this area in future, and in fact tomorrow I’ll be launching the UK National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security in Lebanon.”
Director of Programmes at the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, Mr. Devin OShaughnessy thanked the participants for their presence, and said that the focus of the workshop is on two critical issues the first one on Post Legislative Scrutiny and the second is gender mainstreaming and legislations combating based violence. He added that this workshop will discuss the critical link between this two topics and practices that its of increasing interest in various parliaments which we are working with.
The workshop sessions discussed the main problems and challenges faced by different stakeholders in reviewing and adopting legislation and the complementary role of the parliamentary and governmental authorities in the process of reviewing and evaluation legislation. The workshop also presented the Scottish Parliament experience and the technical support available for MPs for the Post Legislative Scrutiny, international best practices were also discussed in the workshop, and participants adopted a model template on reporting on the implementation of Violence against Women legislation based on these recommendations.