Save the Women!

Murder in the name of Honour

Posted in honour killing,Islam,The Evil that Men do,women by Save the Women! on October 6, 2009


”Honour killing” is the murder of a girl or woman by her male relatives, her father, her brother, her uncle. Whenever something happens to a woman which might ”damage” the family ”honour”, she can be killed. No evidence is required. Gossip about a woman is enough to condemn her. Typically ”honour” murders are not punished. They are not even talked about. They perpetuate patriarchal power over women.

Jordanian journalist Rana Husseini uses her profession to expose the truth behind honor killings. Her work has raised the profile of a subject that is still considered taboo and has helped push legal reforms for tougher punishments for perpetrators. In her new book, Murder in the Name of Honor, Rana Husseini breaks through the silence to tackle the issue of honor killings and tell the story of one woman’s heroic struggle against this practice.

Click here to visit Rana’s site.

The book can be brought at Amazon.

From the Crime Report interview with ms Husseini:

How did you get involved in this campaign?
In September 1993, I started a job as a journalist for The Jordan Times’s Crime Report. One of the very first stories I covered was of a 15 year old girl who was raped by her brother and then killed by her family, in the name of so-called family honor. This story moved me very much and I began to take much interest in this practice. From my research, I realized how these incidents were being minimalized, by society and the court system. Men were getting away with these crimes, with maybe a one or two year jail sentence! I got involved in this campaign, so that I could be the voice of these women who had no voice!

What would drive a father or a brother to kill his own daughter or sister?
Tradition and customs define society and family life, and honor is a major factor. The family of a rape victim is looked down upon by society, and male relatives of the victim believe killing is the only solution to redeeming their family name. This practice not only places a constraint on a woman’s body, but it maintains a patriarchal structure – instead of going after the male perpetrator the female is the one who is persecuted!

What challenges have you experienced since you began this campaign?

When I first began writing on this topic, my work was not well received by the people of Jordan, especially amongst the more traditional and conservative sects. You have to realize that before me, honor killings was never written about, and many, even those that did not agree with this practice, shied away from public discussion. Even now, my work is not well received by all Jordanians. However, I am hopeful that change will come. There is a growing number of individuals who are pushing for just reforms and laws that will treat these females not as criminals but as victims!


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