Abeer Amnina: Libya's Family Law violates women’s rights

For years, some Libyan laws, particularly the Family Law, have been raising concern about women's rights and human rights.


Benghazi- Although Libyan women have been struggling for years to guarantee their rights under the constitution; they are still subjected to legal discrimination. While Libyan women were guaranteed many rights under the country’s Family Law No. 10 of 1984, their rights were taken from them when this family law was amended by the Family Law No. 14 of 2015. According to the Article 6 of the law, the testimony of women is no longer recognized in child marriages and marriage issues in general and courts take decisions in favor of men in the polygamy cases

‘Women face discrimination while filing for divorce’ 

Abeer Amnina, head of the Washm Center for Women's Studies, told us that the Family Law No. 10 of 1984 was about legal procedures such as marriage, divorce and inheritance. “Especially after the political crisis in 2011, women’s rights were negatively affected by the amendment of this law. Now, women are not allowed to testify in divorce cases. Before, women were allowed to testify. Only men have the right to testify in divorce cases. Women are totally deprived of their rights after the amendment of the family law by the government. Women face discrimination while filing for divorce because if men do not consent, they cannot get divorced.”

‘The number of child marriage increases’

Drawing attention to the increase in child marriage after the amendment of the family law, Abeer Amnina said, “Libya has a very old penal code and this penal code must be immediately amended because it is very old and does not fit today's conditions. The current laws do not protect women. These laws must be amended according to international laws protecting women. Those who commit crimes against women must receive more prison sentences. Children of Libyan women married to foreigners are also deprived of their rights; they cannot obtain Libyan nationality. But children of Libyan men married to foreigners can obtain Libyan nationality. Libyan women are subjected to many legal discriminations and this situation must change.”