Somaliland: Parliament Takes Critical First Step to Outlaw Violence against Women
Friday, January 12, 2018 6:35 PM

The lower house of Parliament in Somaliland, an internationally recognized autonomous state in Somalia, has approved the state’s first bill criminalizing several forms of violence against women, including sexual assault, trafficking in women and child marriage. Pending approval by the upper house of parliament and the president’s signature, advocacy groups hope this bill will offer significant protections to women and girls. However, passage is far from certain, and even if approved, many still have concerns about gaps in the law and whether the law will be properly enforced. Significantly, the legislation does not cover female genital mutilation (FGM) or domestic violence and it requires proof of force or violence to establish rape. 

Compiled from: Bowman, Verity, ‘A great milestone’: Somaliland adopts legislation outlawing rape, The Guardian (January 11, 2018).