Lawmakers in Jordan marked a milestone for women's rights when they recently voted to abolish a law that essentially pardons rapists if they marry their victims.
"They hailed the move—which comes a week after Tunisia scrapped a similar law—as an important step towards ending impunity for sexual violence," noted Heba Kanso in a Thomson Reuters Foundation report.
Then again, there's a long way to go, as several countries still have laws that pardon rapists who marry their victims.
Citing information from global legal advocacy organization Equality Now, the report pointed out:
"Countries with similar provisions include Lebanon, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, and the Palestinian Territories. Such laws also exist in several countries outside the Middle East, including the Philippines and Tajikistan."
In the Philippines, Republic Act No. 8353 or The Anti-Rape Law of 1997's Chapter 3 Article 266-C stipulation asserts the "effect of pardon."
It states, "The subsequent valid marriage between the offended party (the rape victim) shall extinguish the criminal action or the penalty imposed (upon the rapist)."