Lebanon: Fatwa to Eliminate Violence against Women


In celebration of the U.N. International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the widely respected Shia religious leader Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah pronounced a fatwa declaring that a woman once she has attained adulthood is independent and no person can act as her guardian. He explained that a man acting as a caretaker of a woman does not translate into reigning upon her. He also maintained that a woman is permitted in her own defense to counter sexual violence or other kind of violence with reciprocal violence and any other means at her disposal, including withholding sexual favors.