ACHRS Statements

Protect Jordanian Women; In only 72 Hours, 2 Women Have Been Murdered By Their Husbands

by Raneen Hessen

Governmental efforts have failed to ensure the safety of its female population, which is a flagrant violation of the right to life and to live in dignity in Jordanian society.

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Every human is born free and equal, yet Jordanian women consistently fall victim to domestic violence and ultimately have their human rights infringed.

In Zarqa, on August 21st, a husband brutally took his wife’s life.

A mere 72 hours later, in Al-Bashir Hospital, on August 23rd, another woman was murdered  by her husband. In this instance, she was undergoing medical treatment for a broken jaw sustained after her husband severely beat her.

That was not enough – He came into her hospital room, a safe place, and stabbed her 30 times.

Earlier this year, the life of a female university student, Iman Rashid, was taken whilst she was studying on campus.

This begs the question, where is there a safe place for women?

The inherent misogynistic power imbalance in Jordanian society, where women are less equal to their male peers, further perpetuates their oppression.

Violence against women is culturally treated as a “family matter,” which only empowers men to abuse the women in their lives. This categorisation of domestic violence as a family matter culminates in Jordanian women avoiding seeking formal justice out of fear that they would experience social isolation and shame.

The international community have endeavoured to secure gender equality through the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Declaration of the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Domestically, Jordan has strived to tackle domestic violence through Law No.6/2008 regarding protection from domestic violence. The main aims of this legislation were to preserve family ties and provide general protection to victims of violence through possible restraining orders. There is no mention in this legislation of combating gender based violence, or addressing the social norms which subordinate women and normalise their mistreatment.

However, at a domestic level, nothing has changed in the lives of Jordanian women.

Governmental efforts have failed to ensure the safety of its female population, which is a flagrant violation of the right to life and to live in dignity in Jordanian society.

Jordan has an obligation pursuant to the Declaration on Eliminating Violence Against Women to “exercise due diligence in preventing acts of violence against women, investigate and in accordance with their national laws, whether these acts perpetrated by the State or by private persons”.

This obligation is not fulfilled by Law No.6/2008.

The ACHRS calls on the Jordanian government to implement educational programs to promote gender equality and to identify and address fundamental causes of violence against women.

The Jordanian government must act swiftly and effectively to ensure that domestic violence incidents are reduced, perpetrators are punished, and the victims and receive adequate justice.

After all, the first paragraph of the Jordanian Constitution, Article 6, guarantees the principle of equality between Jordanians, who are equal before the law without any discrimination between them.

ACHRS condemns the current status of women’s safety in Jordanian society and calls on the Jordanian government to improve its efforts to achieve gender-based equality.

The lives of Jordanian women matter and should not be taken in vain.


Image source: Roya News

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