I’ve attached here Narmeen Murad’s article in the Jordan Times.
A father and his two underage sons tortured and killed their 19-year-old daughter and sister because she reportedly was caught wearing makeup while out on an errand with her younger brother. Her uncle, who caught her apparently walking in an area other than the one she said she was going to, brought her back to her father and reported her “crime”.I want to repeat this news. A young girl, a teenager, was relentlessly beaten with water hoses mercilessly and continuously by three men until she died. Initial reports indicate that the police arrested the three after she was declared dead by the doctor. The father, who led the two-hour beatings, shared his hose with his underage sons and encouraged them to join in the beating. Now this has been designated as an “honour crime”.Welcome to Jordan in the 21st century. This case underlines the paradox of messages from this apparently modern country that has taken a leading position in the region with its progress despite its limited resources, yet still allows its human resources and future to remain hostage to archaic practices that have no relevance to the majority of society.Parliament has rejected amendments to a law that would have banned the use of a ‘fit of fury’ clause to stop the practice of letting the perpetrators of crimes against women go free. Instead they have continued to support heartless and unnecessary murder, which is masked as a claim to have cleansed the honour of their families. This is the same Parliament that has failed women repeatedly thereby institutionalising open discrimination and the subordination of women to their male “guardians” as well as condoning violence against women.The fact that Parliament does not fairly represent the makeup of society not only serves to maintain the integrity, and therefore supremacy, of only a certain category of people in the country politically – which is obviously the aim of the legislator – but it also allows this mentality to continue derailing all efforts to improve the legal status of women in the Kingdom. This Parliament, which was elected to serve all the people, has silenced half of the population because of their gender.Women activists, including some of the most influential women in the country, have spoken out and advocated against what can only be described as stark legislative discrimination against women in Jordan, to no avail. The reason behind their failure is not that “society” is intrinsically against these changes, but because the cause of women has not been taken up by our male leaders who have left gender issues to women and forgot that it is the responsibility of societies as a whole to ensure that all members of that society are treated fairly and with justice.When was the last time the prime minister made statements about improving the situation of women in Jordan? When was the last time the government intervened with Parliament and used its considerable clout to ensure the passing of laws that would change the lives of women for the better? Clearly there is no political will to improve the status of women in Jordan or even extend them the minimum protection against violence and inexplicable discrimination. As long as that political will is absent there will be no change.An adult woman has the right to make choices in her life including personal ones. We all know this. We all know that men and women are equal in their humanity, their intelligence and their needs. We all know that it is not acceptable for any man to use force on a woman. We all know that the majority of Jordanians would not stand by idly and quietly and watch a woman being beaten to death without stepping in to stop it or even prevent it in the first place.If we the people can’t stand to watch murder being perpetrated, how long are we going to accept that the government does exactly this? The government is watching the murder it has condoned.Every single member of the Cabinet and every single senior official and every single journalist, judge, lawyer, activist and citizen who isn’t doing something to stop this “horror show” of crime against women, is doing exactly that: watching the long episode of torture and murder without batting an eyelid or lifting a finger. We watched this show 18 times last year. We have watched it seven times already this year. In every show a human being is robbed of their chance at life by an apathetic society.
I think we should all be ashamed of ourselves.
I really admire her courage to candidly speak about this. All I have to add is this: for all of you in a position of power, shame on you. From leadership to government to the parliament, shame on you. Do something. ANYTHING.