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Research paper topic: Human Rights Violations Against Women Have, For Too Long, Been Denied The Attention And Concern Of International Organization - 1080 words
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.. me into a women's shelter in Lahore and turned to Ms. Jilani for help. Together, the two women got to work on finalizing a petition for dissolution of marriage on the grounds of desertion. At the same time, Samias parents called Jilani and requested she schedule a meeting for them to speak to Samia.
Jilani agreed on the condition that only Samias mother would arrive to the meeting. What happened next is merely a glimpse at the horrifying acts that take place all over the world amongst hundreds and thousands of women. Samia and Ms. Jilani almost gave up when the mother did not appear at the appointed hour and were packing up to leave when she walked in, not alone as she had promised, but with a man - strongly built and bearded. Samia seemed to have recognized him.
He moved forward to greet her as Samia got up, but his "greeting" was a shot in the face from a pistol which he had been concealing in his coat. Samia died instantly. In the chaos that followed, the killer fled the room, along with Samias mother. The guards in the building managed to intercept the killer and shot him dead. It turned out he was Samia's family driver and had been instructed by her father to kill her.
Samias mother literally stood by and watched, knowingly, as a man pulled out a gun and shot her daughter in the face. Samias father hired the man to kill her. Has justice seen to it that these two stand trial? Has justice sent them away for murder? No. The concept of "family honor" continues to dictate. Thus, while many expressed horror at what had taken place, silence prevailed. Pakistani politicians who dared to condemn Samias murder were silenced. One political leader, however, Ms. Benazir Bhutto, condemned the murder and expressed solidarity with the human rights lawyers.
She now faces a prison sentence on corruption charges. (Ali 88-94) If the laws in these countries do not change, no womans life will be safe. It is because of these laws that so many millions of women are losing their lives unnecessarily, and the men that commit these heinous crimes manage to walk away free. For example, according to Jordans Penal Code, (November 16, 1960): He who discovers his wife or one of his female unlawfuls, committing adultery with another, and he kills, wounds or injures one or both of them, is exempt from any penalty. He who catches his wife, or one of his female ascendants or descendants or sisters with another in an unlawful bed and he kills or wounds or injures one or both of them, benefits from a reduction in penalty. (Article 340) Moreover, should a woman fear for her life in such situations, and requests the help of the higher government, it is she not the potential killer who is jailed involuntarily "for her own safety." (Afkhani 183) Some of the cases that have come out of Jordan include the story of 19-year-old Hanan Abed, who was shot to death by her brother, 22-year-old Mohammed, in what the courts called "a fit of fury." Her crime? Going out to eat with a male cousin without the permission of her brother. (Goodnough) Abed was jailed for six months, having invoked a clause in the Jordanian law providing for reduced sentences for those who kill female relatives they suspect of having brought the family honor into disrepute.
(see Jordan Penal Code) Yasmine Abdullah, 20, was shot four times in the chest by her brother, Sirhan, last March after she reported having been raped by a family member. Although the victim of the rape, she too had tarnished the family honor. Sirhan spent six months in prison, once again thanks to the Jordan Penal Code. (Goodnough) Also in Jordan, a woman rushed to a higher court, demanding justice. The woman was outraged that a court had just given her husband only 6 months in prison for killing their 15-year-old daughter. The court had sided with the father, who claimed that his unmarried daughter's pregnancy had dishonored him and therefore he had the right to take her life.
What he did not tell the court, the mother said, was that he had raped his daughter and was the father of the unborn child. The woman told the judges that nobody would believe her and if they did, she would be killed for sure for shaming her husband. (Franklin 3) Before his death in 1999, however, King Hussein of Jordan spoke out and voiced his concerns about this problem. He was against honor killings, and did not believe them to be justified by the Islamic laws. (Franklin 7) They are working hard in Jordan to help create a more equal justice system between men and women.
It seems unlikely, but the step is in the right direction. Iman Khader, a feminine activist and human rights lawyer in Jordan says, "I have faith that change will come. Some of that faith stems from the way women have been gaining a foothold in Jordan's daily life and business world." (Khader 77-79) How does a code that effects the lives of so many women, young and old, in such a negative way get destroyed? What should be the actions taken to assure that this will never happen to another woman, anywhere, again? The answers to such questions do not come easily. The first step is to remove the boundaries between men and women, to realize that a womans body belongs to no one but herself. She is not property; she is not an object.
She is a woman. A woman with rights; a woman with honor; a woman who should be free to say and do as she pleases. In this day and age, it is difficult to understand how some of the Middle Eastern and Asian countries can stay so caught up in the past. Their behavior is almost primitive. They should know enough to understand that it is inhumane to treat others in such a respect. It is not religion that forces them to do this.
Religion does not honor these killings. The struggle to remain powerful and the evidence by which they choose to prove their power is the driving force behind their control over women. Many women have risked their lives and created this awareness and movement that will not allow for sacrifices to be made at the expense of womens bodies. Time will tell how successful the measures taken will be.
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