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News and Views: October 2008

Jordan woman stabbed to death over sex images

AMMAN (AFP) – A Jordanian man has been charged with premeditated murder for killing his married sister after seeing mobile phone images showing her having sex, a judicial official said on Thursday.

Controversy over 'honour killing'

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has asked for a report to be drawn up on the case of a 17-year-old woman said to have been killed by her in-laws.

38 honour killings in past three months in Balochistan

QUETTA, Oct 21: Thirty-eight women died at the hands of their relatives, who killed them on the pretext of protecting their honour during the past three months in Balochistan.

WEST AFRICA: Cross-border FGM on the rise

OUAGADOUGOU, 17 October 2008 (IRIN) - Cross-border female genital mutilation / cutting (FGM/C) is on the rise in West Africa according to the UN, spurring the need to impose a region-wide law banning the practice, say experts.

Experts from the region met this week to discuss how to eliminate FGM/C across West Africa, at a conference sponsored by the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in the Burkina Faso capital Ouagadougou.

NEPAL: Women tortured for being 'witches'

A large number of women are victims to the witch hunt practice in Nepal

Somalia: Woman stoned to death for adultery

29/10/2008: Somali Islamists have stoned to death a woman accused of adultery, witnesses said, the first such public killing by the militants for about two years. (Independent / Reuters)

Yakin addresses the UN General Assembly : Violence against women remains endemic

24 October 2008 – Women around the world continue to endure violence, abuse and discrimination and often have no recourse to justice, an independent United Nations human rights expert told the Gener

Italy: 'I love you, but I have to shoot you'

By Larissa Cummings

October 11, 2008 12:00am

"I LOVE you, but to save face, I have to shoot you in the knee. You have one month to think about it."

Honour killing: Girlfriend's family sets boy ablaze

AHMEDGARH (SANGRUR): Taking the fight for "honour" to a barbaric high, a 21-year-old boy out on a date with his lover, 18, was burnt alive by the girl's enraged family. Brought to a Ludhiana hospital with 60% burns, the youth, identified as Karan Sharma, was battling for life on Monday.

Things went horribly wrong for Karan, a TV mechanic, when he was caught with the girl at their regular meeting spot. Luck ran out on him as soon as the girl's father, Kuldeep Singh, who first spotted the couple, called up his brother-in-law Jagdev Singh and nephew Karmjit Singh.

Dr Mohammed Baobaid: Men must be part of the solution

A leading Yemeni academic, Dr Mohammed Baobaid was presented on 26 September with an Everyday Hero award by the Canadian Centre for Research and Education for Violence Against Women and Children (CRVAWC) for his role as project coordinator of the Muslim Family Safety Project, an initiative to help victims of violence in the Muslim community in Ontario where he lives.

Playing With Fire

Pair of female playwrights dare to explore cultural taboos in their native India

Oct 18, 2008 04:30 AM


Ugandans ban female circumcision

A community in eastern Uganda has banned the deeply rooted practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), an official has said.

UK police start 'honour' crime plan

UK police were criticised over their handling of the "honour" killing of Banaz Mahmod in 2006 [AP]

Uganda: Is Domestic Violence a Part of Life?

It is a few hours into the night. A young girl's wail pierces through the dark, silent and scary night.

Syrian Case Tests Tolerance on Killing Kinswomen

Syria just opened its first official shelter for battered women and has enacted reforms favorable to women in recent years. But safety activists can't rest as long as authorities tolerate families who consider it honorable to kill their kinswomen.

DAMASCUS, Syria -- Oasis, Syria's first shelter for battered and abused women, opened its door the first week of August.

The Haredi sect has launched an aggressive campaign against the secular lifestyles of women in Jerusalem

Jewish 'ultras' defend morals with menace

Four months ago in the middle of the night, six men dressed in wide-brimmed black hats, black coats, white shirts and black trousers burst into the Jerusalem apartment of a young Jewish woman and taught her a lesson.

Report Released on Intimate Partner Violence in New York City

9/23/2008 2:51 PM

September 8, 2008 – The NYC Health Department today released a comprehensive report chronicling the tragic and persistent problem of intimate partner violence. By analyzing data from city hospitals, medical examiner records, and surveys by the health and police departments, the agency found that this kind of abuse affects thousands of women in New York City, with poor women and black and Hispanic women suffering the highest rates. The complete report is available at

FLDS leader's alleged bride, 14, sent to foster care

(CNN) -- A 14-year-old girl believed to have married jailed polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs was ordered to foster care by a Texas judge on Tuesday.
Warren Jeffs and four followers were indicted in Texas in July and charged with sexual assault of a child.

Warren Jeffs and four followers were indicted in Texas in July and charged with sexual assault of a child.

District Judge Barbara Walther said there was solid evidence that the girl -- who authorities allege was married to Jeffs at the age of 12 with the consent of her parents -- was an underage bride.

Religious Leaders of Different Faiths ‘Say NO to Violence against Women’

Religious Leaders of Different Faiths ‘Say NO to Violence against Women’

Religions for Peace and UNIFEM launch partnership to stop gender-based violence.

For immediate release
Date: 25 September 2008

Media Inquiries:
Oisika Chakrabarti, Media Specialist, UNIFEM Headquarters, +1 212 906-6506,

South Sudanese women arrested for tight trousers

By Skye Wheeler

JUBA, Khartoum (Reuters) - More than 35 young women wearing tight trousers have been arrested for "disturbing the peace" in south Sudan, police said on Tuesday.

Officers said the arrests in Juba, capital of the semi-autonomous region, were part of a crackdown on youth gangs that have sprung up recently and have a reputation for drinking, fighting and public nudity.

The women were arrested on Sunday night, but released without charge on Monday after appearing in court.

ETHIOPIA: More parents saying no to FGM

ADDIS ABABA, 11 September 2008 (IRIN) - Fewer Ethiopian parents are subjecting their daughters to female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM), according to an NGO campaigning to eradicate the practice.

"The knowledge [that FGM is harmful] is increasing," said Abate Gudunfa, head of the Ethiopian National Committee on Traditional Practices (commonly referred to as EGLDAM - its name in Amharic]. "Children born more recently are safer."

THAILAND: Fighting domestic violence

BANGKOK, 22 September 2008 (IRIN) - Wandee Chantri recalls the beatings she suffered at the hands of her husband. "He slapped and kicked me so many times," the 43-year-old said, when she challenged him over his extramarital affairs. "But I kept silent. I didn't want a divorce. I had to think of my child."

This woman's husband doused her with acid when she complained about his mistress

Mali: Violence Against Women on the Rise

BAMAKO, 2 October 2008 (IRIN) - At least 300 women are victims of sexual violence every year in Bamako, according to local police records, but the actual figure is much higher said the president of the Bamako-based non-profit, Women in Law and Development in Africa.

While there are laws in place to protect women, many forms of violence in Mali are sanctioned by tradition, practice

USA: Documentary address 'purity pledges' in America

3/10/2008: According to The Virgin Daughters, one in six American girls now takes a "purity pledge", vowing to abstain from all sexual activity until they are married. (Channel 4)

One-in-six American girls now pledges to remain a virgin – and some even to save their first kiss – until their wedding day. But is this their decision, or their fathers?

Providing a fascinating insight into America's heartland, award-winning documentary maker Jane Treays follows a group of fathers and daughters as they prepare to attend a Purity Ball in Colorado Springs.

Greater Noida honour killing: Grandfather held

Press Trust of India
Friday, September 19, 2008, (Greater Noida)

In a case of suspected honour killing, police in Greater Noida have arrested the grandfather of the slain girl for allegedly killing the 16-year-old and her lover and setting their bodies ablaze.

"Rekha's grandfather Puran Singh was arrested this evening. He confessed to the honour killings. Manhunt has been launched to arrest the other three accused," DSP Dev Karan Singh said.

Forced marriages: the trail of misery and fear in Britain

A helpline for victims has been inundated with callers. Jerome Taylor was given exclusive access to their harrowing stories

Friday, 26 September 2008

Baljit Kaur Howard was made to marry a family friend against her will

Chinese police ordered to handle domestic violence complaints at scene

The Chinese government has ordered police to respond at the scene to all complaints of domestic violence in a new regulation to protect the rights of women.

The regulation, issued by seven ministries, including the ministries of public security, justice and health, requires police to be dispatched whenever they receive a 110 emergency call regarding household violence.

There is nothing honourable in an honour killing

Sultan Al Qassemi
The National

August 30. 2008

In countries as varied as the UK, Brazil, Pakistan, Jordan and India, men of various faiths commit crimes such as rape, kidnapping and murder in order to preserve family honour. It is a worldwide phenomenon that is not restricted to one faith or creed, although it is more common in countries where illiteracy and religion are exploited and manipulated.

Education key to prevent 'honor killings'


MADRAS, India — The act of killing is not so surprising when senseless brutality, especially against women, engulfs a community. Thousands of women are murdered every year by their families in the name of "honor." This heinous crime cuts across continents, with most killings going unreported. When they are reported, the perpetrators are seldom punished, because the families or the society concerned may view the dead women as deserving of punishment.

2000 demonstrate against 'honour' killings in Iran

On 14 August, in a village called Kani Dinar in the Mariwan region of Iran a "father" stabbed her 18 years old, daughter, Fereshteh Nejati, and slit her throat, almost severing her head in the street because she sought a divorce. Fereshteh had been forced into a marriage when she was 14 years old.

She fled to her uncle's house to seek refuge after her father threatened to kill her but her father forced them to hand her over and brutally murdered her on the same day.

Suffering in silence

Police fear victims of honour crime in Tayside may be suffering in silence because they can see no way of accessing help without bringing further shame on their families (writes Graham Huband).
The spotlight will be turned on the normally taboo subject of forced marriage and honour-based violence at a major conference organised by Tayside Police next month. The issue — which predominantly affects ethnic minority communities — is rarely spoken of in public, and police fear victims may never come forward because of a lack of support services that can guarantee their safety.

Apex court: don’t be lenient while giving punishment in caste killings

Apex court: don’t be lenient while giving punishment in caste killings

Legal Correspondent

“Judges tend to become apologetic in cases of murders arising out of caste”

“Has this hands-off approach led to creation of casteless utopia?”

Bench says considering the gravity of offence, death penalty ought to have been awarded

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has asked the trial courts and High Courts not to show any leniency while awarding punishment in cases relating to murders due to caste conflicts.

Groundbreaking Legislation Integrates U.S. Efforts to End Gender-Based Violence on a Global Scale

November 1, 2007 -- Washington, DC –Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE) and Ranking Member Richard Lugar (R-IN) introduced the International Violence Against Women Act, groundbreaking legislation which will, for the first time, integrate the United States’ efforts to end gender-based violence into U.S. foreign assistance programs.

Iraq: Politicians reject 'honour' crime reforms

Law Efforts to toughen sentences meet opposition from Islamists.

The country’s powerful Islamic parties and leaders are resisting reform of a law that sanctions lenient punishments for those found guilty of so-called honour killings.

Article 111 of the Iraqi penal code - passed in 1969 - allows a lesser punishment for the killing of women if the male defendants are found to have had “honourable motives”.

Jordanian law soft on honour killings

Suha Philip Ma’ayeh, Foreign Correspondent

* Last Updated: July 11. 2008 3:06AM UAE / GMT

AMMAN // When Urweh Zreiqat, a TV presenter, asked a group of university students to define honour in one of his talk shows, most said it was related to ethics, honesty, dignity, reputation and loyalty.

None of them mentioned a woman’s hymen, or her perceived fidelity, two of the biggest causes of so-called honour killings in Jordan. That, however, remains one of the leading drivers of murder in the country.

“The Family Council” Becomes An Excuse For Honor Killings Of Women

A member of the Supreme Curt of Appeals 1st Penal Chamber, announced that he would require there to be a “family council decision” in a murder with a motive of custom. Women lawyers say there is no such requirement in the law.

Bia news center - Ankara-istanbul


Tolga KORKUT -

Salih Zeki İskender, a member of the Supreme Curt of Appeals 1st Penal Chamber, announced that he would require there to be a “family council decision” in a murder with a motive of custom.

“There is no such requirement in the law”

YEMEN: Call to improve women's status

Photo: Muhammad al-Jabri/IRIN
Three married girls (aged eight, 12 and 10) during a public discussion by civil society organisations on child marriage

SANAA, 22 September 2008 (IRIN) - Much more needs to be done to improve the status of women in Yemen, the poorest country in the Arabian Peninsula, in line with the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), officials said.