It’s been a frustrating couple of days for those keeping up with women’s rights in Jordan. The news about a 19-year-old who was exonerated after raping a 14-year-old girl in a tent for 3 consecutive days sent shock waves through the Jordanian community. This was due to article 308 of the Jordanian penal code which exempts a rapist from punishment if he marries his victim. The cherry on top was Dr. Khazai, a professor of sociology in Jordan University who claimed that women are different from men, and can overcome such an ordeal if they want to, and that the wife (remember, a 14-year-old kid) should start having kids so they put the situation behind them.
Fortunately, we managed to translate the anger and frustration into something useful. Tweet after tweet, facebook group after group and as a first step, a couple of us met and constructed an initial action plan, the first fruit of which is this petition that I hope you will sign and share (LINK: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/308_jordanian_law/)
Realistically speaking, changing such a law won’t come that easy nor quickly. Our esteemed parliament, who only manage to be productive when it comes to their pensions hearing, still have about 30 temporary laws to vote on, I’ve been told. But the first step is speaking out and gathering awareness towards this injustice. Because the only thing worse than a law marrying rapists to their victim is it happening with no one to protest it.
So speak up people!