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Q&A: 'Women Are Not Equals in Our Society'


World  (tags: palestine, West Bank, woman, , Palestinian women, domestic violence, Palestinian territories, rape, female victims, Palestinian society, honour killings, male perspective )

Madalena
- 3471 days ago - ipsnews.net
As a man in a patriarchal society, an outspoken advocate of women's rights and a harsh critic of the way Palestinian women are treated, Mashoor Basissy, MOWA's director in the West Bank, brings a fresh male perspective to the growing problem of domestic v



   

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Comments

Madalena Lobaotello (448)
Tuesday April 21, 2009, 8:18 pm
....
As a Palestinian man I have to tell you that women are not regarded as equals in our society. The courts enable the male perpetrators of domestic violence and honour killings to get off very lightly if they are even brought to justice in the first place which is unlikely in most of the cases.

It is also regarded as shameful to involve the authorities in what is considered a private family affair. Women are embarrassed to report the abuse because they know that nothing will happen. Even female relatives take the side of the male perpetrators in many instances.

Furthermore, if the victim antagonises the family by getting the police involved, divorce often follows. Few Palestinian women are able to support themselves economically as only a minority of women here work and a woman living alone is subject to rumours about sexual fidelity which again could endanger her and make her a target for attacks.
...
 

Jamie L (195)
Thursday April 23, 2009, 5:30 pm
Men convicted of honour killings get a maximum sentence of six-months imprisonment if caught and prosecuted. There are no specific domestic violence laws only general assault charges. A woman has to be hospitalised for at least 10 days to press serious assault charges and she requires the testimony of two witnesses who are not related. Furthermore, rape is not recognised as a crime within marriage.

MB: The hands of the police are tied and they are limited in what they can do. What currently happens is that the women is taken to jail for a few days for her own protection. Apart from the fact she is separated from her children she is also subjected to the unpleasant prison conditions and mixes with the likes of prostitutes or drug-addicts. Again this is regarded as very shameful in our society.

The last PBS survey also reflected that only 1.2 percent of female victims had filed a formal complaint against their husbands with the police. Less than 1 percent of abused women sought counseling and protection at police stations.

It is also regarded as shameful to involve the authorities in what is considered a private family affair. Women are embarrassed to report the abuse because they know that nothing will happen. Even female relatives take the side of the male perpetrators in many instances.

Furthermore, if the victim antagonises the family by getting the police involved, divorce often follows. Few Palestinian women are able to support themselves economically as only a minority of women here work and a woman living alone is subject to rumours about sexual fidelity which again could endanger her and make her a target for attacks.

Should the victim remarry, she automatically loses custody of her children.

Thanks Madalena! I cannot imagine what it must be like to have to live/survive everyday that way.
 
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