Eight months ago, Asma Khader helped to set up a human rights group called the National Campaign for Ending So-Called Honor Crimes in Jordan. Yesterday, the group announced a new public campaign to reverse a law that assigns little or no punishment to the purveyors of so-called "honor crimes."
A beating, murder, rape, or other violent attack on a woman is defined as a "honor" crime when it is committed by a man who claims to have committed the crime in an effort to restore his family's reputation. For instance, women who date, marry, or divorce without the blessing of their families may be seen as deserving victims. Thus, the punishment for these crimes is lax. Men who claim to have murdered their sisters, cousins, aunts or mothers in an attempt to restore family honor may be jailed for as little as three months.
Police records indicate that at least 160 women, most of whom were teenagers at the time of their death, were the victims of "honor" crimes. Hundreds more are beaten, are forced to flee their families, or are confined to their homes.
A new law which would assign harsher punishments to purveyors of "honor crimes" will be debated by Jordan's parliament this November. Khader explained that while the law leaves much to be desired, it would constitute a step in the right direction. "At least we are able to talk about it now," she said. "It was a big taboo."
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .