Political will but not Lip Service – Towards protecting Palestinian Women’s Right to Life

2013-01-11

Ramallah: Within the recent developments in the Palestinian context and the recognition of Palestine as non-state member in the United Nations where all the international human rights agreements and conventions should be applied, women basic right to life is still being violated under the so-called family honor background. As women, we believe that law sovereignty is the base for building a democratic community. A community that respects human rights and right to life in particular, represents the ambitious of all Palestinians.

However, as part of the occupation’s practices against Palestinians in general and against women in particular, the amendments within the operating Jordanian family and penalties laws, were banned pushing the Palestinian community to live under the power of laws issued since 1960s and even before. Since that time, hundreds of women were killed due to various reasons and all were illustrated as if they were killing on the so- called family honor background. Presenting these crimes as “honor killing” contributed in giving excuse to the murderers and represented model for other crimes.

We declared it clearly that as human rights organizations in general and women organizations in particular, will continue campaigning to cancel the articles that give excuse for murderers under the false justification of the so- called “family honor”. It is our right as women to have fair and just laws and we believe that it is time to have a national legal set that is capable of defending women’s rights.  

The quoted text (www.maannews.net - 27/12/2012) , which is referred to Lawyer Hassan al- Ouri, legal adviser of president Mahmoud Abbas, indicates the absence of a political will to activate the presidential decree that suspends article 340 of the operating penalties code. Thus, the decree looses its value and becomes as if it were a public relations statement rather than being the base for a law to achieve justice and give women equal rights.  We are done with the statements issued for the sake of issuance only and we are looking for concrete actions that criminalize killing women and prosecuting murderers on the base of premeditation killing in the crimes where women are the victims. We call upon all stakeholders to prevent any reconciliation regarding the crimes of killing women where murderers are usually free of penalty.

Amal Khreishe

General Director

Palestinian Working Woman Society for Development   

27/12/2012