The Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development launches


On Monday, the Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development (JOHUD) launched a campaign to cancel Article 308 of the Jordanian Penal Code during the second general meeting of JOHUD staff in King Hussein Business Park. Article 308 has long attracted controversy through its effects on the laws governing sexual assault, whereby the offender is able to avoid due punishment by marrying his victim.

When launching ‏#‏جهدـضد308, the group stated that “the policies included in the government’s amendments to the penal code draft and the relevant article are inadequate, as the draft law violates other articles in Jordanian law, such as the rules regarding inappropriate intercourse (which states that girls aged between 15-18 cannot give consent to sexual activity”.

JOHUD also announced that “a petition will be sent to the 51 Princess Basma Centres throughout the Kingdom, in order to collect as many signatures deemed necessary for demanding the abolition of Article 308. In its present form, the article represents a violation of Jordan’s obligations to uphold its ratified treaties that prohibit discrimination against women, a moral hazard which must be eliminated. Likewise, Article 308 continues to grant impunity to perpetrators; thus, failing to protect children and making them legally and substantially unable to defend themselves”.

The statement went on to say that “JOHUD will work with the greatest number of Jordanian civil society institutions, using every tool available (including media, theatre, debates, art, and awareness campaigns) to highlight the social dangers of failing to defeat the article, including falling standards of human rights and the growth of loopholes to protect criminals. We will continue these campaign activities until the article is removed in its entirety”.

The Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development was formed in 1977, and has been a pioneer in the fields of women’s, youth, and children’s rights since that time. Through a network of 51 Community Development Centres scattered throughout the Kingdom, more than 4000 volunteers in women’s and youth committees, and the unique Rasio Farah al Nas 98.5FM, the group has helped to influence positive change in the lives of more than one million individuals and hundreds of communities.