The issue of women right is not one of the popular topics in the Arab World. Notably, the Arab women have made strides in either academic or professional field in the period of four decades. The Arab women are not new to social discrimination, worst still in the case of those who live in the rural communities. Here, the women are treated in the traditional manner. Their basic rights are neglected. She is viewed as being inferior to their male counterparts. Although the Arab women could be told to have gained some of their rights, some discrimination and violation of their right is still evident. For instance, they still practice act of killing women on the foundation of the family honor.
The act of honor killing has always been considered a crime that substantially undermines the harmony and unity of a certain community; therefore, working as a barrier affecting women’s progress in their lives. Honor killing has been used over the years indirectly giving the killers a free passport of doing this inhuman act. The women are oppressed without being given a chance to defend themselves. The depth of oppression is seen from the fact that, though the women are killed after being caught having sex before marriage, it is disheartening to see that, after being caught the man walks scot free while the women is mercilessly killed in the name of protecting and maintaining the honor of the family.
In the Arab society, honor is among the chief values that are highly cherished. This fact is in cognizant with the fact that the position of women in this society highly devalued. It is surprising that the powers of the day, which has the mandate of protecting its citizens, are aware of the oppression that is being practice against the women. Sadly, the domination of power within the society is in the mercy of the high class who are charged with the responsibility of defining the meaning of honor, as they so desire this clearly points out the abuse of power and the misinterpretation of the true meaning of honor. The fundamental values that should be dignified in the society from their seniority are only neglected. They spend more of their time focusing on the things that matter as far as the harmonious development of the country is concerned. The people who should thing on things that should push their country in the next level is only concerned about the body of the woman and her virginity.
According to the Arab society, their perception towards a woman portrays her as an object sole owned by the man, the man assumes all the responsibility in her life and behavior. The existing traditions helped in the encouragement of isolating woman in her home. The traditions stipulate that the woman must cover her body in order to maintain the honor for their male counterparts. One of the inhuman aspects as far as the covering of the entire body is concerned, is the locations where most Arab countries are placed in the desert like climates as such, women are forced to stay covered regardless of the climates. They believe that a decent and an honorable man are required to have a decent woman. They believe behind this theory is that the woman’s body with a capability of bringing new members in the family, for the extension and longer life of the family. As such, the woman’s body is considered as being the husband’s private property. Once the woman protects and maintains her body, it is believed that there will be no confusion among the families in the community. The men are believed to hold the responsibility of defending the honor of their women.
It should be abundantly clear that when their male counterparts kill them; this is a direct violation of fundamental human rights. In the first place, the fact that man treats women differently is in itself a form of discrimination. Sadly, the Arab countries continue practicing these vices despite the fact that they know it is a crime against humanity. The fact that those in power give a blind eye to such crucial problem of killing of civilians reflects on numerous social injustices that go on as they watch.
The value of a human being is evidenced from one’s ability to being creative and having true love to others and never measured by one’s affluence or social standing. One’s intelligence and individual decisions on their responsibility to other human being in the community should not base on one’s gender. Therefore, one’s power in the development of their society is a fundamental factor in the determination of their value. Killing of women based on one’s family honor is a continued crime that man commits against women who have a close relationship with the men.
The motive of their killing as stipulated by the traditional factors is in upholding the honor of their family. They fail to notice that the culture of killing the women innocent women is a crime that does not solve the problem in question, but at the end of it, the family is put in to shame, as the traditions of the community puts it.
The Palestinian society being part of the Arab world, the fate of women in Palestine is no any different from the rest of the Arab countries. Palestine just like any other Arab country is governed by traditions, which has numerous unwritten rules and norm that automatically look down upon the women. The conditions that existing during the formation of Palestine; for instance, rampant wars, long suffering, and loss of land worked as a catalyst in pushing the people closer to their traditions and customs. As such, the practice of killing the Palestinian women based on the honor of the family existed for many years. These factors are evidenced by the availability of women’s center, the records on prints, and the police records. This is a clear indication that Palestine has a history of women discrimination, who amount to half the society population. (Jafri, 73)
The crime against women has existed in Palestine for many years. The problem is that, women have been suffering in silence with no internal or external intervention. The silence of women has been contributed by the country’s emphasis on the existing political conflict, as opposed to concentrating much on social difficulties. It was until after the Oslo peace accord and the stabilization of the political climate that most centers were opened to cater for the needs of women. The centers emphasized a lot on curbing the problem of violence against women. Again, Pakistan has now ratified the Conventions on the abolishment of any form of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), which was established in March 1996. In this Convention, there was a stipulation that the state parties signed concerning the modification of the cultural and social design of conduct of men and women. This was aimed at the reduction of prejudice and customary and any other practice that has a basis in superiority and inferiority on any sex or the existing stereotyped responsibility for women and men (Wikan, 49).
This law is not entirely in action in Pakistan; therefore, the media have the responsibility of pushing this agenda of saving the women from these inhuman acts. The media have been on the forefront in the fight for women rights. One outstanding example is the case where the media published a case about honor killing and luckily, the message fell on the required audience. The message reverberated on the entire country, which led to the catching of the parliament attention. The media went a step further in correcting the government version concerning the same incidence. The government presented a report indicating that only three women while, in the real sense, they were five, it went further in covering what had already been done by stating that the women in question had by killed over some property dispute while, in essence, the death had resulted from honor killing. The media even accused the government of protecting the perpetrators (Arab News Paper, 13).
The report alleged that the government was covering for the perpetrator for the person behind the killing had some connection with government. It went further in illustrating that one of the killers was a brother of the provincial minister, who was part of the coalition of the day. Taking action against the person in question would have caused problems for the party of the day. The Media went further in unearthing the situation in Baluchistan; a traditionalist province of Pakistan, which was living under strict tribal set up and following these codes to the letter. The people of Baluchistan continued to practice honor killing even after the plea to abolish that practice.
In conclusion, The Arab women are not new to social discrimination, worst still in the case of those who live in the rural communities. Honor killing has been used over the years indirectly giving the killers a free passport of doing this inhuman act. This clearly points out the abuse of power and the misinterpretation of the true meaning of honor. The domination of power within the society is in the mercy of the high class who are charged with the responsibility of defining the meaning of honor. The Arab countries continue practicing these vices despite the fact that, they know it is a crime against humanity. The fact that those in power give a blind eye to such crucial problem of killing of civilians reflects on numerous social injustices that go on as they watch. The value of a human being is evidenced from one’s ability to being creative and having true love to others and never measured by one’s affluence or social standing. All the bodies that value human life should work together in pointing out on the governments’ ignorance towards honor killing in Pakistan; this could put an end to this practice permanently.
"Pakistan: Three Teenage Girls Buried Alive in Tribal 'honor' Killing | World News | The Guardian." Latest News, Sport and Comment from the Guardian | The Guardian. Web. 03 Dec. 2011. <http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/sep/01/pakistan>.
Arab News Newspaper. Web. 03 Dec. 2011. http://archive.arabnews.com/?page=13
Wikan, Unni. In honor of Fadime: murder and shame. London: University of Chicago Press, 2008.Print.
Jafri, Amir Hamid. Honour killing: dilemma, ritual, understanding. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.Print.