17 March 2017

Angola: Women MPs and Leaders Analyze Penal Code

Luanda — The new version of the Penal Code that has been the subject of debate in the specialty in the National Assembly topped the meeting between the Group of Women Parliamentarians (GMP) and the leaders of women's associations, held this Thursday in Luanda.

The meeting, promoted by the GMP, aimed at analyzing the divisive issues contained in the legal tool, highlighting article 158, referring to abortion and other aspects that make the text more appropriate to the current national and international situation.

While recognizing the competence of the National Assembly in terms of legislation, some women's organizations disagreed with the decision, even before submitting the text for the final global vote at the plenary session on 23 March this year.

Speaking to the press at the end of the meeting, the lawyer Ana Paula Godinho said that if the current position is maintained, Angola would be recording setback in time and space.

She believes that at this moment, to criminalize abortion or to withdraw the exceptions that the Law of 1886 already foresees is to withdraw from the achievements regarding the women's rights.

In turn, the leader of the Spiritist Theosophical Church, Suzete Francisco João, defended the principle of life in compliance with the God's Law.

"The church defends and enshrines the principle of life and physical integrity, so according to the God's Law, life ca not be interrupted", he said.

The head of the Women Parliamentarians Group, Cândida Celeste, promoter of the meeting, considered it appropriate to maintain article 158, but with the exceptions provided.

"We are going to take the concerns, although most religious do not agree with any of the articles", said the MP.

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