The "A White Dress Does Not Cover the Rape" national campaign which was launched by ABAAD to abolish Article 522 of the Lebanese Penal code which allowed men, who had been convicted of committed sexual assault, abduction, or statutory rape against a woman, to avoid penalty of no less than five years of hard labour if a valid contract of marriage could be provided.
The Award was received by Ms. Ghida Anani, Founder & Director of ABAAD, during a ceremony held on May 2nd in Bonn, Germany.
ABAAD’s campaign started in September 2016, but was officially launched during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence (November 25 to December 10 2016), during which a series of advocacy activities were conducted.
Efforts made during the campaign, led to the repeal of Article 522 from the Lebanese Penal Code. ‘’This campaign, which was launched at a local and global level, was a major deterrent in the face of rapists in Lebanon and, most importantly, it was an important step to reduce the ’’victim blaming’’ attitude and to shift the debate to its main focus which says that rape is a criminal act and all rapists must be punished’’, said Anani in her award receiving speech, adding: ’’This is the goal of our campaigns as women’s and feminist organizations in the Arab world; first changing mind-sets and behaviours and then changing laws to bring justice for all women living in our countries’’.
It is noteworthy to mention that ABAAD’s ‘’A White Dress Doesn’t Cover the Rape’’ Campaign was selected as one of the top 3 finalists among 2000 applicants representing 142 countries from all over the world.
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.