What happened: On Saturday, The United Arab Emirates announced a major overhaul of the country’s Islamic personal laws, allowing unmarried couples to cohabitate, loosening alcohol restrictions and criminalizing so-called “honor killings.”
Why: According to state-run WAM news agency, the reforms aim to boost the country’s economic and social standing and consolidate the UAE’s principles of tolerance.
Other amendment: According to the new laws,
- the punishment for the rape of a minor or someone with limited mental capacity will be execution.
- there will be tougher punishments for men who subject women to harassment of any kind, which is thought to cover street harassment or stalking,
- As per the amendment, if a couple were married in their home country, but were divorced in the UAE, they could expect the process to be similar in a UAE court. The laws of the country where the marriage took place would apply instead.