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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/12/2013 (4 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Violent acts against women, girls more than this year

The heinous practice of "honor killing" is an ongoing social menace throughout the Muslim population in the Middle East. Targeting mostly young women and girls, the practice is mob justice wrought over accusations of infidelity, Since the practice is usually kept private, the exact figures are hot to ascertain. One shameful fact is clear: Honor killings against women in Palestine has more than doubled over the past year.

Disputes over family inheritances or the covering up acts of incest are also connected to honor killings.

Disputes over family inheritances or the covering up acts of incest are also connected to honor killings.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/12/2013 (4 months ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Palestine, honor killings, women, girls, data


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Researchers in nearby Jordan attribute the practice due to low levels of education and "patriarchal and traditional world views, emphasis placed on female virtue and a more general belief that violence against others is morally justified."

Others claim that the practice is an expression of Islam. Of course, many Muslims decry the allegation and reject that claim. However, the fact remains, there are no "honor killings" in Christian or Jewish families.

The study which is reffered to was conducted by Cambridge University, surveying the attitudes of young people there. Alarmingly, more than  a third of respondents agreed with the practice.

The study estimated an average of 15 to 20 such killings occur every year in Jordan. This in a country where the population of around 6.3 million, compared to around four million in Palestinian lands.

Some activists believe the rise in such killings indicates social and economic problems are mounting in the territories. Palestinians here exercise a limited self-rule -- but Israel still maintains sovereignty, including over commerce.

The leader of rights group Muntada, Soraida Hussein says the practice also has deep roots. "There is no balance in power relations between the genders. There is a patriarchal mentality...as always, the force and pressure in society is transferred from the strong to the weak," she said.

There are very few women in the Palestinian work fore, a dismal 17 percent. Employers here appear to favor men, among whom joblessness was almost a third lower in 2013.

Hussein says the killings tend the hinder "the movement and the freedom of the woman, so (perpetrators) say it's an 'honor killing' ... Also, there's still no clear law to discourage the practice."

Disputes over family inheritances or the covering up acts of incest are also connected to honor killings.

The passing of stricter laws on violence against women is hamstrung by the absence of a Palestinian parliament, which has not met since President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party and the Islamist Hamas group fought a brief, bloody civil war in 2007.



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