Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

January-22-99

Women Fight "Honor Killings" in Jordan

In countries throughout the Middle East, India, Pakistan, and Brazil, women and girls are routinely killed by family members who believe that they have violated the family's honor in some way.

Most often, women are thought to violate their family's honor by losing their virginity. A girl or woman who has been accused of losing her virginity is often sent to a doctor who will then speculate as to whether she may have engaged in sexual activity. Jordanian pathologist Dr. Mu'Men Hadidi reported that about 80% of the women he has performed autopsies on were killed soon after undergoing a virginity test.

Since women are often blamed for "inviting" or "seducing" men to rape them, even incest victims are blamed for tarnishing their family's honor and killed. In cases where a woman's "guilt or innocence" cannot be established, families assume that they are guilty.

In Jordan, these "honor killings" make up 25% of the country's total murder rate. Journalist Rana Husseini , Queen Noor, and women's groups are fighting to end these brutal murders. Jordan Times writer Husseini has devoted her career to writing about honor killings, despite resistance from the public and editors who argue that her work is sullying Jordan's reputation.

When Husseini interviewed a man that murdered his sister after she had been raped, the brother showed no remorse, and compared his sister to a "bad apple" that could ruin his entire family. Husseini also spoke to the family of a girl who was murdered by her brother after another brother had raped her. The family told her that the slain daughter had "seduced" her brother into raping her. "And this is when I realized that, really, this society tends to blame women for everything...I decided that I wanted to do something about it."

Husseini noted that those convicted of "honor killings" often face very short prison sentences of anywhere from 3 months to a year. Currently, Jordanian law puts honor killings in a separate category from other murders, and Jordan's Queen Noor is trying to change that by publicly voicing her opposition. She noted that the laws are currently under review and noted that they are "not consistent with Islam or with our constitution."

Jordanian Women's Union has established a hotline and a counseling center for women in danger. Jordan's police department formed a domestic violence unit last year, but since there are no shelters for endangered women, the only way police can protect them is by imprisoning them.

Media Resources: CNN - January 10, 1999


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

10/23/2014 All of Tennessee's Major Newspapers Have Urged Voters to Reject Anti-Abortion Amendment 1 - All four of Tennessee's major papers have spoken out to oppose Amendment 1, a dangerous anti-abortion measure that will be decided by voters this fall. . . .
 
10/23/2014 Instead of Returning Kidnapped Nigerian Schoolgirls Boko Haram Reportedly Abducted More Women and Girls - Despite Nigerian military officials announcement last week that they had negotiated with militant group Boko Haram for the release of more than 200 schoolgirls who were kidnapped in April, it appears the girls have not be brought home - and residents say more women and girls have been kidnapped since. Last week, in a deal brokered in neighboring country Chad, a ceasefire agreement was supposedly made between Boko Haram and Nigerian military officials. . . .
 
10/23/2014 Ferguson October Continues With National Day of Action Against Police Brutality and Mass Incarceration - Activists organized actions nationwide yesterday to protest police brutality in cities across the country as part of ongoing Ferguson October events, while outrage grows in Missouri over the the grand jury proceeding on whether Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson should face criminal charges in the shooting death of unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown. As part of the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality and Mass Incarceration, on-the-ground organizers in Ferguson, Missouri and St. . . .