April 11, 2006
1 in 4 Syrian women have been beaten by their husbands. Honor killings, still rampant, only became legal for public discussion two years ago. Hana Qaddoura, spokeswoman for the General Union of Women, the semi-governmental organization that carried out the study, said most Syrians don't believe violence in the home counts as violence. Ugly, ugly stuff.
On the bright(er) side, the study itself is a hopeful sign: the General Union is tied to the state, and to have the state officially recognize an epidemic of domestic abuse is, theoretically, the first step in forcing them to address it. Got to tell ya, I'm not a big fan of concealed carry laws, but sometimes I feel willing to make an exception for anyone forced to wear a hijab.
Update: The original last line ended with "trapped beneath a burka." While checking to make sure that was accurate (it wasn't), I found this blog, with this post, on contemporary Syrian fashions. Interesting stuff.
April 11, 2006 | Permalink
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Thirty years ago many people here considered it acceptable to beat your wife and children now and then. Hopefully Syrian attitudes will improve over the next thirty years. I think more contact with more liberated societies would probably be a good catalyst.
Posted by: Ronald Brak | Apr 11, 2006 10:24:33 AM
Nearly one-third of American women (31 percent) report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives, according to a 1998 Commonwealth Fund survey.
It's interesting to note how shocking statistics about other countries can be without the context of the same measures in America. Domestic Violence is a widespread problem everywhere.
Posted by: spike | Apr 11, 2006 10:30:07 AM
Every sixteen minutes, a Syrian woman is beaten.
That is one unlucky Syrian woman!
(Sorry, old joke. Can't resist.)
Posted by: Jimmm | Apr 11, 2006 10:52:07 AM
It's curious this making the American news today.
I remember the awful condition of Afghan women being used as a justification for the invasion of Afghanistan....
Posted by: Davis X. Machina | Apr 11, 2006 10:56:47 AM
And so it continues. The machine to dehumanize Arabs has another "scoop."
Did this come through semi-official MEMRI or did the boys in Tel Aviv skip the formalities and post it themselves.
I suppose there are still people out there who don't see the agenda behind this stuff, but such people grow ever fewer.
The levees habe broken, of didn't that Harvard study convince you?
Posted by: skip | Apr 11, 2006 10:56:50 AM
So basically, a published study about domestic violence & honor killings (how often does that occur here?) in Syria
A: Lacks comparable domestic violence statistics from the U.S.
B: Merits the insinuation that acknowledging such a problem through this study is an excuse to invade afghanistan
C: Is just a false smear by the jews to dehumanize arabs.
Well if the intent was to damage American credibility it succeeded. I certainly wouldn't count on America promoting feminist causes in the third world with these people around.
Posted by: Dustin | Apr 11, 2006 12:42:03 PM
The 1 in 4 number is certainly much too low. Domestic violence is underreported here, and we at least have some protections for victims (shelters etc.). In Syria I doubt there are any protections, and probably a lot of sanctions against women speaking out. I also suspect that there's a lot of child abuse in Syria and other Arab and African nations. And I'm not being anti-Arab in saying that; any society that has a strong tradition of patriarchy has high rates of domestic violence, simply because patriarchal structures protect perpetrators and isolate victims. This has nothing to do with ethnicity or religion.
Posted by: Rebecca Allen,PhD,ARNP | Apr 11, 2006 2:36:36 PM
Is just a false smear by the jews to dehumanize arabs.
Yeah, tha's right. Those poor, poor Arabs and their Sha'ria law.
Here's a question for ya'. How many Arabic nations are democracies? Turkey (kinda-sorta?)
Posted by: Fred Jones | Apr 11, 2006 3:53:35 PM
Sometimes, sometimes I wish I had a son. It's selfish, I know, but I can get so afraid for my little girl. Part of the many reasons why I am a Democrat is that I believe it is only through the idea of gender equality and the ability of women to make their own decisions that has made any changes to the rate of domestic abuse in this country. That so many people want to take us back to a time when rape was only something a black man did to a white woman is beyond reprehensible.
Posted by: Stephen | Apr 11, 2006 4:53:31 PM
Fred Jones, Turkey is not an arab country it's a turkish country(a
linguistic ethnicity type of identity). Also while most if not all goverments of arab countries leave much to be desired most don't follow sharia as law.
Posted by: ann | Apr 12, 2006 4:22:55 AM
Posted by: peterwei | Oct 22, 2007 8:46:03 AM
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