Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘domestic violence

Part 1. Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative (MESPI): Peer-Reviewed Articles

“Protection Against Domestic Violence in Jordanian Law and International Conventions”

By: Laith K. Nasrawin

Abstract: This article addresses the issue of protection against domestic violence in both Jordanian law and international conventions. It does so by defining domestic violence and its various causes, and by exploring the relevant global standards and best international practices for combating it.

The article also deals with the reality of protection against domestic violence in Jordan by referring to the special protection of the family and to the related follow-up by national and governmental institutions, and the relevant national standards.

The Law Regarding Protection from Domestic Violence (Law No. 6/2008) contains protective provisions and other treatments to reduce this phenomenon, but it fails to provide optimal protection against domestic violence. (Optimal protection? Like changing human passions and myths?)

The article proposes a set of recommendations to improve national standards for protection against domestic violence so that Jordan’s laws concerning protection against domestic violence can conform to international standards.

“Sub-Centres of Power in Shiʿi Islam: Women of ʿAlid descent in the Contemporary Near East”

By: Raffaele Mauriello

Abstract: A peculiar characteristic of the Islamic civilization is represented by the Prophet’s family (Ahl al-Bayt), whose history spans over 14 centuries and whose members have played at different times and places an important role in the Muslim world.

The Prophet’s kinfolk are collectively known either as sādat (sing. sayyid) or as ashrāf (sing. sharīf). Within this kinfolk, the ‘Alids claim to descend from the Prophet Muhammad through his daughter Fatima and his cousin ‘Ali.

(Note 1: Muhammad had 2 boys who died before age 5. He had 4 girls who married to sa7abats, those who emigrated to Yathreb (Al Madina) from Mecca)

It has been argued that the ‘Alids represent a formidable example of the necessity to re-formulate the two categories of ‘centre’ and ‘periphery’ in accordance with the distinctive features of the Islamic civilization.

In this respect, Biancamaria Scarcia Amoretti has coined the terms centri dislocati (‘sub-centres’ or ‘centres in the periphery’) and centro deputato (‘designated centre’) to analyse the role of the ʿAlids as key actors in the dialectical dynamics that define the ‘centre’ and in initiating political, religious, and cultural movements or changes.

This essay argues for the importance of including ‘Alid women in the human geography framework formulated by Scarcia Amoretti. The case study concerns women of a remarkable ʿAlid family of the Shiʿi religious establishment of the Near East, the al-Sadr.

(Note 2: Women in the 7th century had plenty of power and wrote themselves their marriage contracts. They divorced once a clause was reneged upon. This generation of women were taught and learned their rights from Aicha, the beloved wife of Muhammad)

“Refugees and the Case for International Authority in the Middle East: The League of Nations and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East Compared”

By: Laura Robson

Abstract: In the immediate aftermath of World War I, the newly formed League of Nations saw Middle Eastern refugees—particularly displaced Armenians and Assyrians scattered in camps across the Eastern Mediterranean—as venues for working out new forms of internationalism.

Note: The Armenians and minority religious groups who were transferred from Turkey (genocide) were sheltered by the Syrians in Aleppo and Deir Zour, before many transferred to Lebanon, Europe  and USA. They didn’t feel like living in concentration camps since they could leave any time and work in the cities)

In the late 1940s, following the British abandonment of the Palestine Mandate and the subsequent Zionist expulsion of most of the Palestinian Arab population, the new United Nations revived this concept of a refugee crisis requiring international intervention.

This paper examines the parallel ways in which advocates for both the nascent League of Nations and the United Nations made use of mass refugee flows to formulate arguments for new, highly visible, and essentially permanent iterations of international authority across the Middle East.

“The New Arab Left and 1967”

By: Sune Haugbolle

Abstract: In Arab political culture, the Naksa of 1967 (The term Nakba is reserved for 1948 as Israel transferred Palestinians from their villages to neighboring States, like Lebanon, Jordan and Syria, and Gaza) had a number of watershed effects.

Scholars have paid a lot of attention to the decline of secular Arab nationalism, and the concurrent rise of Islamism. Much less research has been done on the way 1967 spurred radical left organizations, also known as ‘the new Arab left’, to organize resistance against Israel as well as gain a foothold in national politics.

This article analyzes what 1967 meant for groups such as P.F.L.P., D.F.L.P., O.C.A.L. and the Syrian Communist Party – Political Bureau, and the wider political culture associated with the new left: its media, journals and art.

Based on readings of this cultural production and new research on the tri-continental movement, revolutionary socialism and Third-Worldism in the late 1960s and early 1970s, this article argues that the defeat of 1967 helped to determine the shape of the revolutionary moment that followed.

This moment has had a lasting impact on Arab political culture and is being re-interpreted in interesting ways today by Arab revolutionaries post-2011.

“Islamizing the Palestinian–Israeli Conflict: The Case of the Muslim Brotherhood”

By: Noha Mellor

Abstract: The Arab capitulation in the Six Day War was posited to stimulate the so-called Islamic resurgence in the region since the 1970s, which several scholars see as a sign of Islamic resistance to the Western cultural presence within the Arab world.

This article argues that Islamizing the conflict began well before the 1967 defeat, and that the hegemony of the Islamist discourse has been made possible owing to its penetration into mainstream political and media discourses.

It is also argued that by ‘religionizing’ the Palestinian–Israeli conflict, Islamists provide a new narrative to reshape and reframe the perception of this conflict as being religious rather than political in nature. (Actually, it is the “Christian” Evangelical Zionists that financed and supported politically the establishment of State of Israel)

The article takes the Muslim Brotherhood as a topical case study, demonstrating how its print and digital media highlighted the Islamization of the conflict with Israel, and providing frequent references to the 1967 defeat as evidence of God’s wrath meted out on Arab rulers, not only for abandoning the Islamic State project, but also for oppressing Islamist movements.

Note: Erdogan of Turkey is wrapping himself with the flag of Muslim Brotherhood movement to lead them in Egypt, Syria, Libya and Qatar. This movement was first instituted in Egypt in the early 1920’s.

“In the Shadow of the 1967 War: Israel and the Palestinians”

By: Amal Jamal

Abstract: The 1967 war in the Middle East has had major ramifications on the entire region including Israel. This article focuses on 3 of the major longstanding ramifications, namely the change in the demographic balance between Jews and Palestinians west of the Jordan River, and the challenge that the military regime imposed on the Palestinians in the newly occupied Palestinian territories poses regarding the nature of the Israeli regime as a whole and the reconnecting of Palestinians and citizens of Israel, with their fellow Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

This article demonstrates how Israeli policies towards Palestinians impacted the disposition of the Palestinian community inside Israel, and how the coming together of Israeli policy changes in the Palestinian struggle for independence and social transformations inside the Palestinian community in Israel have led to different adaptation strategies among the Palestinians to face their in-between reality.

“Syria – From the Six Day War to the Syrian Civil War”

By: Eyal Zisser

Abstract: The story of Syria during the Six-Day War is the story of a state whose leadership was young, inexperienced, reckless, and radical; it sowed fire and reaped a firestorm.

For a while, the war seemed as a turning point in the history of Syria since it led to the rise of Hafiz al-Asad, who gave his country political stability that enabled him to turn it into a powerful and esteemed state at home and abroad.

Asad’s era was marked by freeze, stagnation, and the maintenance of the status quo which became the essence of the Syrian regime’s policies and course of action not only vis-à-vis Israel, but also in its activity domestically, whether in the social, political, or economic sphere.

The ultimate result, as this article argues, was the outbreak of the Syrian revolution in March 2011, which demonstrated that the appearance of stability and strength projected by the regime was a complete facade.

Note: Syria in that period was the only State with No sovereign foreign debt and was economically independent in matter of foodstuff. It established universal healthcare and free education, even in the universities. 

“From Cooperation to Normalization? Jordan–Israel Relations Since 1967”

By: Ronen Yitzhak

Abstract: This article deals with the relations between Jordan and Israel from 1967 until 2015. The mutual interest of the Hashemite regime and the Zionist movement, namely to oppose the Palestinians, created the first opportunity for cooperation, which developed into economic ties and intelligence exchanges during the reign of the first appointed King by Britain King Abdullah I.

A real strategic alliance between Jordan and Israel was formed in the 1950s, when Egyptian President Gamal Abd al-Nasser, together with other nationalist Arab elements, tried to subvert King Hussein’s regime and topple him.

Israel unhesitatingly came to the side of the Hashemite ruler to protect Jordanian territorial sovereignty. This perception of Jordan informed Israel’s policy, which aimed to aid Jordan in confronting new challenges to the regime.

The fact that Israel has stood by the Hashemite regime through most of its existence indicates a strategic partnership that will sustain, even if the peace treaty were to be revoked one day.

Note: Jordan was created mainly because Britain and the USA expected to chase out the Palestinians after the recognition of Israel. The intelligence agency of Jordan monarchy was trained from its inception to secure Israel and gather intelligence from the neighboring States to back Israel policies. It never changed its objectives till now

 

Passing a law on domestic violence: Putting Lebanese women at further risk?

The Lebanese Parliament Passed a Law that Put Women at Further Risk 

Manal, Roula, Aminah, Latifah, Sonia, Christelle, Marguerite, and all the women who died of domestic violence will not rest in peace: Today the Lebanese Parliament passed a law, a joke that now legalizes marital rape. 

No women will leave or face her husband while her children remain at risk…

No women will dare to speak up knowing that if she protects herself, her children will be the next boxing bag.

Abir Ghattas posted this April 1, 2014

A law passed, it is for sure not the law we’ve been fighting for!

All those thousands of people who marched weeks ago where not apparently enough to move our parliament, all those women who died, and those children who were/are bruised for life apparently are not enough reason for a fair law. 

To hell with this country, to hell with every politician… all the blood of innocent women and children are on your hands!

KAFA, is calling for a public protest at 5pm in Riadh El Solh square… be many.

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Abusive relationships? Why women refrain from breaking it? And vice versa…

BEIRUT: As a resident doctor at AUB Medical Center, Lubna Abul-Husn took a deep interest in domestic abuse.

Ten years ago, she interviewed dozens of patients, cataloging their experiences at home with “intimate partner violence,” a term that refers to physical, emotional and verbal abuse of a close partner or spouse.

Kareem Shaheen published in the Lebanese daily The Daily Star, this Oct. 19, 2013: “Why do women in Lebanon stay in abusive relationships?”

She then spent a year in France studying family legal medicine before returning home and ending her engagement with a fiance from her province.

Her fiance broke into her home, killed her, her mother and her sister, before committing suicide, according to her colleagues at the time.

File - Women activists protest against domestic violence near the Parliament in Beirut, Monday, July 22, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

File – Women activists protest against domestic violence near the Parliament in Beirut, Monday, July 22, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

“It was devastating,” said Johnny Awwad, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and head of the division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at AUB Medical Center, and Abul-Husn’s colleague.

Awwad, along with other doctors at AUB, completed the analysis of Abul-Husn’s research. The paper was finally submitted for publication this year in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

“We couldn’t really look at this paper for the longest time,” he said. “We had been avoiding looking back at this phase but I don’t think that gives her justice.”

The study polled 100 married women aged 20-65 who were visiting the AUB Medical Center for gynecological care, 91 of whom responded to the survey. It is one of the few that tries to quantify the prevalence of domestic abuse in Lebanon, and that looks at the reasons behind why women here stay in abusive relationships.

But perhaps its most startling discovery is how even women in these relationships find it completely normal for such abuse to happen – a testament to how ingrained the gender imbalance is in society.

“Intimate partner violence is an underestimated problem in Lebanon and has been largely ignored by the local authorities,” the study said. “The Lebanese health care system has failed so far to play a proactive role in identifying and referring abused women, mostly because the recognition of an abusive pattern in women is often blurred by cultural and societal taboos.”

Over 40 percent of the women polled said they had suffered from physical abuse. A third endured sexual abuse, nearly two-thirds were victims of verbal abuse, and 19 percent said they had experienced emotional abuse.

More than a fifth of the women had suffered social isolation imposed by their husbands.

The top reasons women expressed as a reason for staying in an abusive relationship were a lack of familial and social support, lack of financial resources and fear that their husband would take away the children.

In eight of the cases that suffered physical abuse, medical attention was required and three cases were admitted to hospital with vertebral fractures and miscarriages.

But the study went further, selecting a subsample of 33 women and asking them open-ended questions on their husbands’ treatment.

All the women, including those who were abused, said they were satisfied with their husbands’ treatment.

“Many abused women are totally resigned to their situation and decide to stay in an abusive relationship because of the fear of losing their children, the need to conform to social expectations, the lack of financial independence, the lack of family support, and the duty to obey their spouses,” the researchers said.

Domestic abuse appeared to usher in other social ills. Women who suffered physical and verbal abuse were more likely to be smokers. Husbands who had a history of alcohol abuse were more likely to impose social and economic isolation on their wives.

Declining monthly income made it more likely for a husband to use a weapon against his wife, while a higher number of children offered a protective factor for women, illustrating the challenges wrought by economic, security and political instability in the country.

The head and the extremities were the most frequent areas of the woman’s body suffering from physical injury, and hitting was the most frequent mechanism of abuse followed by slapping and pushing.

The rate of domestic violence in Lebanon is in sync with other developing countries and Arab societies, where comparable rates of abuse are present as well as similar justifications for staying in abusive relationships.

As part of their recommendations, the study’s authors, who are all doctors at AUB Medical Center, said that health centers in Lebanon ought to routinely screen patients in order to identify victims of domestic abuse.

Awwad said that such a step, while there is no evidence that it reduces abuse, would be a first step toward referring victims of abuse to support groups and treating the root causes of some of their problems.

But part of the issue is that the conversation around domestic abuse in Lebanon often focuses on anecdotal cases of violence, rather than tracking the prevalence of the issue in society.

“It is not enough to create support groups in our society that come and tell you that he’s been hitting you, he’s been abusing you, come to us and we’re going to support you,” Awwad said.

“Then what? Who is going to support the kids and secure her re-entry into society that stigmatizes her,” he said. “They cannot create another society for her. It’s a dead end, unfortunately, in this part of the world.”

That is partly because of the tribal nature of Lebanese society.

“Lebanon is a big tribe,” he said. “Where you go people would know you and would stigmatize you. You would have to travel and leave the country. So you’d have to stay with the family and your husband and believe that it’s normal.”

This, he said, leads to an acceptance of domestic abuse as a normal part of existence. The other issue is cultural.

The study’s authors said that domestic violence against women tends to be seen as a private, internal matter and not a major public health issue in Arab societies that are “patriarchal and characterized by male authority and dominance.”

That is reflected in how intimate partner violence had been largely ignored by local legal and religious authorities.

Awwad and his colleagues point to the initial rejections by religious authorities of domestic abuse legislation, which they saw as usurping the role of religion which already deals with the issue of domestic violence, and the continued failure to pass laws against domestic abuse.

A law protecting women from violence has been in legislative limbo for a long time due to Parliament’s failure to convene. Religious authorities initially opposed the legislation because they said Islam already deals with women’s rights and domestic relations.

“It would be a good step to pass this law,” Awwad said, adding that it could help deter some abuse, but would not be able to erase the “inherent right” that many men feel they have in wielding power in the household.

That built-in inequality is what poses enormous challenges to those who seek to challenge domestic abuse and society’s complacency toward it. There is little recourse but to begin at a young age, when minds are malleable and prejudice has not yet taken hold.

Values such as equality of women should be introduced at an early stage in education in order to combat such attitudes, Awwad said.

“I think it needs a generation, unfortunately,” he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 19, 2013, on page 3.

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2013/Oct-19/235036-why-do-women-in-lebanon-stay-in-abusive-relationships.ashx#ixzz2iBqWpFD1
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon

As if Racism awakened with the influx of Syrian refugees

In the last 3 years, Syrians have been fleeing to Lebanon and currently constitute over 25% of the population.
The slowness of aids arriving from international community and this unstable political system in Lebanon aggravated the conditions of both the Syrian refugees and the Lebanese citizens, where they live close to the regions of  refugees concentrations such as the town of Ersal, Akkar district, city of Tripoli, the Bekaa Valley and the Arkoub in the south.
The Campaign in Support of Syrians facing Racism (Arabic: الحملة الداعمة للسوريين بوجه العنصريّة) was launched on March 21, 2014.
This campaign coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, “in rejection of all violence towards Syrians [in Lebanon], racist political rhetoric and the associated media hype.”

Lebanese Launch Campaign in Support of Syrians Facing Racism

 This campaign aims to tackle what is perceived as growing discrimination against Syrian refugees living in Lebanon.

Lebanese politicians are being accused by activists of using rising tensions between Syrians refugees and Lebanese inhabitants of some areas of Lebanon for politically-motivated purposes.

After the “I am not a Martyr” campaign in honor of Mohammad Chaar and the “I am not naked” campaign first in support of Olympic skier Jackie Chamoun and then against Domestic Violence, the anti-racism campaign is using the same (and now-familiar) method of online protest featuring average citizens posting selfies and carrying a message.

Speaking to leading French language Lebanese newspaper “L’Orient-le Jour”, one of the activists participating in the campaign said:

Politicians can’t even resolve basic problems such supplying gas and electricity, facilitating affordable public transportation, stopping violence in Tripoli and Hermel, passing laws related to domestic violence, lowering the expensive telecommunication… These problems existed before the arrival of Syrian refugees and our politicians did not solve them. They never want to solve anything, they never did.

Here are a few examples of those participating:

“If you accept us, you are welcomed in Lebanon”

"And our house is your house if you're willing to accept us parents to parents, brothers to brothers

Once, a Syrian made us proud

I once met a Syrian who made us both proud

Above: The Humanist. Below: The Racist

He didn't escape death [in his country] to die of humiliation [in your country]

He fled from sure death, and Not to die from indignity

Not every Syrian is a criminal and not every Lebanese is innocent

The Syrian refugee is like us: he can't live. Direct your anger towards the corrupt ruling class.

Re-direct your anger at the ruling class, this bloated and corrupt class

I'm a human before being a Syrian.

I am a person before being a Syrian. (A reminder of the saying of the French essayist Montaigne)

Say no to racism. Lebanon is a small country, but with a big heart.

90% of our houses are built by Syrians. Stay a racist and leave your house.

90% of our homes were built by Syrian workers. Be consistent with your racist attitude and leave your house.

Some even went further to criticize colonial legacy.

Whoever divided these grounds for 'immigrants' to cross borders to another country... I won't say 'welcome' because this is not just my country.

And they even hanged a sign over a highway:

Dear Syrian, welcome! welcome to Lebanon

Women marched against family violence: Lebanon, March 8, 2014. And shocking statistics

The earliest Women’s Days were held in the first decade of 20th century. This was before women had the vote, before women could legally terminate a pregnancy.

In the UK, it was only ten years since a married woman could legally own her own property, rather than be property herself. Marie Curie was yet to become the first woman to win the Nobel Prize.

More than a century later and it’s tempting to see International Women’s Day as redundant, a celebratory event at best.

Why do we need the event at all?

The causes that triggered those first campaigns have been fought and won.

Women in today’s society have all the equality they could ever need, right? Wrong.

Women own less than 2% of properties and less than 10% of total revenue for working 60% more than males.

Women in Lebanon marched against family violence and the urgency for laws that punish the perpetrators.

So moved seeing photos on my wall of all the wonderful people filling the streets today to demand equal rights for Lebanese women, and end this horrible state of patriarchy.
This was our rallying cry today! With no politician to support. People of Lebanon, you still give me hope
Leah Choueiry's photo.
Excellent turn out at the demonstration to have a law against violence against women ‪#‎womensrights‬ ‪#‎lebanon‬ ‪#‎kafa‬ ‪#‎whpwomenwhoinspire‬
Excellent turn out at the demonstration to have a law against violence against women #womensrights #lebanon #kafa #whpwomenwhoinspire
Reine Azzi added 9 new photos — with Rania Hammoud and 4 others.
Excellent demonstration today! Turn-out, messages, creativity…
This gives me hope! It’s a shame that we have to fight for a law that should be common sense! Against domestic abuse and violence!
A crime is a crime, regardless of whether it happens on the street or behind bedroom doors. ‪#‎Womensrights‬ ‪#‎kafa‬ ‪#‎Lebanon‬
Reine Azzi's photo.
Reine Azzi's photo.
Reine Azzi's photo.
Reine Azzi's photo.
Reine Azzi's photo.
Reine Azzi's photo.
Reine Azzi's photo.
Reine Azzi's photo.
Reine Azzi's photo.
Cynthia Choucair was tagged in Salam Hammoud‘s photo.
Salam Hammoud's photo.
March 7, 2014

International Women’s Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important

International Women’s Day is still needed to motivate change, at home and abroad. Some of these statistics put into sharp relief just how far we still have to go.

Violence

Globally, about one in three women will be beaten or raped during their lifetime. About 44% of all UK women have experienced either physical or sexual violence since they were 15-years-old.

Britain ranks among the worst countries in Europe when it comes to women being violently abused.

On average, 30% of women who have been in a relationship report that they have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence by their partner.

38% of all murders of women worldwide are committed by a woman’s intimate partner.

A UN report said 99.3% of women and girls in Egypt had been subjected to sexual harassment.

Female Genital Mutilation

This is where girls have either all or part of their clitoris and inner and outer labia sliced off without anaesthesia, and sometimes have part of their vaginas sewn up too.

Over 130 million women living in the world today have undergone Female Genital Mutilation.

There as as many as 24,000 girls are at risk of cutting in the UK.

In one Birmingham hospital as many as 40 to 50 women every month are treated after undergoing female genital mutilation.

Marriage

Around 14 million girls, some as young as eight years old, will be married in 2014.

An estimated 1.2m children are trafficked into slavery each year; 80 per cent are girls.

In 10 countries around the world women are legally bound to obey their husbands

Only 76 countries have legislation that specifically addresses domestic violence – and just 57 of them include sexual abuse.

Working rights

In the UK, the gender pay gap stands at 15%, with women on average earning £5,000 less a year than their male colleagues.

The disparity is even greater in part time jobs, going up to 35 per cent.

Globally only a 24 per cent of senior management roles are now filled by women.

The Equalities and Human Rights Commission estimates it will take 70 years at the current rate of progress to see an equal number of female and male directors of FTSE 100 companies.

This hurts everyone. The gender gap in certain industries is even more apparent and damaging.

Zemach Getahun estimates that closing the gender gap in agriculture could reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 12-17 per cent.

If the skills and qualifications of women who are currently out of work in the UK were fully utilised, the UK could deliver economic benefits of £15 to £21 billion pounds per year – more than double the value of all our annual exports to China.

Man’s Lebanon? Gino can’t cool off

Yesterday, and for the third consecutive week, a third young mother was beaten to death by her husband.

I posted one of Gino’s angry articles last week as the “Sports” minister promised to “investigate” the 3-year old semi-nude photo-shoot of Olympics Champion Jackie Chamoun on a Lebanese ski resort https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/lebanon-we-are-all-jackie-chamoun-chirine-rasha-kahil/.

“While sitting in the smartly decorated, adorable apartment of Dounia in the Upper West Side of Mahattan, I sigh with relief that I’m not in Lebanon.

Yet I cannot but let my thoughts drift away to that hellish tiny piece of 10452 km2 divided land, even as I gaze up at the skyscrapers I called home last year and hope to call home permanently some day soon” wrote Gino.

It’s a Man’s Lebanon

 posted this Feb. 17, 2014

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I grew up in a family where my sister and I were never treated differently.

My mom is a top-notch executive at a multinational, and my sister does psychology work in places That even I would think twice before visiting.

My relationships were never the stereotypical man and woman, even though some old-fashioned gentlemanly gestures like opening the door for my date still survive.  (Good custom Gino)

Many of my mentors are strong, brilliant women, like Joumana Haddad.

What I’m trying to say is that the machismo so characteristic of Lebanese men (in relation to other men? Lambs when confronted with women)), was never an issue for me, and the problems associated with it seem incomprehensible most of the time.

During the past few years, I’ve campaigned with NGOs like KAFA for women’s rights (Enough is enough) constantly. From protests, to lobby groups, to naming and shaming the MPs responsible and the legal headache that comes along with that, I saw how what all the amazing people on board had worked so hard for get sabotaged and gutted by dirty MPs and disgusting religious men.

With only minor victories, like eradicating the barbaric “honor crimes” section of the penal code, it’s frustrating and depressing that women in Lebanon are so lacking in terms of human and civil rights in 2014.

Unchecked Domestic Violence

In the past two weeks, 2 women have been beaten to death by barbaric husbands, and a third committed suicide because of the hardships her spouse put her through.

Add those 3 to 24 other innocent women killed by domestic violence and rape in Lebanon since 2010. What do you get?

An acquittal of one murdered woman’s husband, who never even stood before a judge before being let off the hook and allowed to be the guardian of her 3 beautiful children.

What happened? Nothing.

The pro-women’s rights movement in Lebanon is always dismissed by the macho as “a reason for a woman to get her husband into trouble by lying about being abused.”

You’d think that absurd excuse would be rare, but I’ve heard it myself from several people, including women, on more occasions than I’d care to admit.

No Citizenship

A Lebanese mother cannot pass down her nationality to her kids.

This archaic law was put in place to allay the fears some Lebanese had that Palestinians would seek to “normalize” their presence in Lebanon by marrying Lebanese women. As if a Palestinian woman marrying a Lebanese man is any different. Disgusting, sexist and misogynistic law derived from a morbidly xenophobic mentality.

Blatant Racism

As if the citizenship “provision” wasn’t bad enough, migrant workers in Lebanon get their fare share of abuse and oppression.

Whilst 27 Lebanese women have been killed in the past 4 years, one domestic worker is killed or commits suicide in Lebanon ever single week. That’s over 200 innocent domestic workers in the same amount of time.

If it’s not physical assault and rape, it’s modern-day slavery-style labor, with passports withheld and doors locked on them when the employers leave home.

And if not that, visitors from countries perceived as “domestic workers” by Lebanese, such as Sri Lanka, India, the Philippines and Ethiopia, are treated like second-class citizens and human beings. Like denied entry to venues, racial slurs and governmental harassment by police and at the customs control area in the airport, gives a horribly racist and backwards image of Lebanon.

Zero Empowerment

Government cabinets usually have no women. Our parliament is only 3% female.

The only reason women were incorporated into the police force is to help them search women wearing hijab (Head and face cover).

Paperwork in many companies and most governmental institutions need the husband’s oversight or signature. The list goes on and on.

The idea is, women aren’t as empowered as men when it comes to elected office and high-profile careers or even startups.

Hyper-sexualized but Sex is Taboo

Fake boobs, fake lips, fake ass cheeks, fake heels, fake brands, fake eyelashes and nails.

Women are expected to dress provocatively, with cleavage on the verge of bursting and heels more fitting for a corner hooker, you’d think these girls are getting some action.

If they do though, they become “damaged material” to other guys and girls, “ruining the honor” of her family.

Heck, even posing topless like Jackie Chamoun can get you in a ton of trouble. So, in a hyper-sexually suggestive society, being promiscuous if you’re female is still very much frowned upon. Or not even promiscuous, just sexually active, is something many women would rather keep secret.

Women should be able to do whatever they want with their bodies. They aren’t the property of their dads or brothers, they’re their own people, and in Lebanon, many men, and a sizable amount of women still refuse to accept that.

I Wouldn’t Wan’t My Daughter or Wife in Lebanon

I’ve dated a Korean girl, and an Indian girl in my life.

I would tell them stories about Beirut and Lebanon. How epic it was.

How fun life there can be. But deep down, I knew, but never told them, that I couldn’t invite them over to Lebanon.

Imagine going to a posh club and being denied entry because a half-wit baboon bouncer thought they were my “maid”.

Imagine a bunch of drunk kids making fun of us while walking down a street. The humiliation would be unbearable. Not the humiliation of dating someone from another race. That’s something to be proud of, proof you love someone for who they are, not what backwards society thinks they should be.

But the humiliation of being Lebanese, of fellow countrymen treating the women I date with such racist, supremacist, all-out stupid attitudes. I want them to keep the good idea of Lebanon and the Lebanese I hopefully portrayed to them, not the one it really is.

I’d never want my daughter born in Lebanon.

Imagine she dates a douche-bag and becomes a social outcast after he tells everyone they slept together (which should be normal for any consenting young adult).

Imagine she marries a sick bastard who beats and rapes her, but the priest or sheikh won’t allow her to divorce him, and the state sits and watches idly as she gets murdered by a testosterone-crazed macho man.

Imagine my grand-kids being denied a Lebanese citizenship if my daughter marries a foreigner. Imagine the humiliation of being a Lebanese father.

I’d never want my daughter born in Lebanon.

Not as long as we have presidents, prime ministers, speakers of parliament, ministers and religious men like the ones we have now.

Not as long as some cabdrivers pay a migrant worker 5,000 LBP (less than $3) after raping her. Not when people still differentiate between a man’s rights and a woman’s rights.

Not when many women accept that as their fate and do nothing to help the movement for their civil and human rights.

What Can Be Done?

  • Mandatory Civil Marriage (because the people who do it willingly don’t need it as much as those forced into religious marriages)
  • Abolishing religious personal status laws (so we level the playing field)
  • Severe punishment of men who rape or abuse women (serious jail time)
  • Draft laws that sanctify a woman as equal, not complimentary to men (this isn’t Kandahar/Saudi/Iran)
  • The right to pass down citizenship (Cut out racism and genders differences in our laws)
  • Focus on these issues instead of the ideological wars everyone is so preoccupied with.

How?

Force our MPs to vote for it. Name and shame every abuser of women’s rights.

Eject religious authorities from the bedroom and club.

So

Lebanon is a man’s world, and it is one of the many reasons why I utterly hate it at the moment, and feel the need for change more than ever.

Note: Read more on that topic of racism behavior https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/racism-behavior-on-many-levels-in-lebanon-high-and-middle-classes-communities/

“I am naked”: Lebanon campaign. The government too is totally naked…

I just got the no longer awaited news that Lebanon managed to form a government that lingered 11 months in “the making”.

And you know what? The new selected minister of Justice, and a candidate for the ministry the Interior and a former chief of the internal security,  has been very vocal against the army that is protecting the citizens in the city of Tripoli (Lebanon) from the “terrorist” factions, which are supported or taking cover under the wings of Rifi, the minister.

Mind you that the parliament had last year extended its term for two years on the ground that the political climate is not amenable to election (advancing the same reason to the other confused “Arab States”, like Libya that extended the term of its assembly and a military General attempted a coup to dissolve the “Mou2tamar“)

The “I Am Not Naked” Campaign was posted on February 13, 2014 by  (selected as one of the top posts)

I tried a couple of days prior to the posting of this article to copy it, or part of this article or a similar one, from a link on FB in order to develop on it but it was locked. Until it was posted on wordpress.com.

I have posted 3 articles on that subject so far. You may read the first one Viva in the nude ski Lebanon https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2014/02/12/viva-sky-lebanon-jackie-chamoun-photos-before-heading-to-sochi-olympics/

Jackie Chamoun, 22 year old Lebanese Olympian skier, participated in a semi-nude photoshoot 3 years ago. The “making of” got out at the beginning of this week and caused a scandal among stone age media and minister Karami. Lebanon was outraged, they started stripping for Jackie!

At around 4pm on tuesday, I called up two friends of mine:
Carl Halal (photographer/animator/illustrator) and Mohamad Abdouni (art director/FIM2P editor) and told them I wanted to shoot naked people for Lebanon.

Carl called up photographer Tarek Moukaddem and he was instantly supportive and offered us his talent, time and studio! We were now the I’m Not Naked Team.

For all those who know me, know that it was never about the body and the nudity, it was about the message. I never got how so many people complain but few of them do.

As we saw that the #stripforjackie Cyrill Reaidy launched, was already spreading, we thought it was not logical to create a new one. And so we added that cause to our message!

1601120_512267552225010_1382050199_n1911943_511893258929106_354047956_n1902047_511887072263058_1013288022_n

This is not about the pictures we’re spreading.

It’s about Manal Assi & Roula Yaacoub beaten to death by their husbands (who now walk free).
It’s about a minister who’s worried about a beautiful model/athlete ruining Lebanon’s reputation, and that same minister who refused to sign that petition against domestic violence!

It’s about Jean Assi being arrested and thrown in jail for two months for tweeting about the president!
It’s about women being murdered and men getting away with it because they were crimes of honor.

It’s about the Lebanese Army not getting enough attention and recognition for arresting a suicide bomber (and many other terrorists) and getting him to disclose information about two cars that were about to go off!

(The last picture is of Jean Assi, not the other violent man who killed his wife)

247925_mainimg Karam-Bazi2 cbqjzE0S_893231_large

We’re stripping to get your attention. And we did.

We could’ve done it in a completely other way, but so many have tried for a lot of years and things didn’t change.

We saw what Jackie’s body did to you, so we tried with our own.
Some of you didn’t understand, families cried or shouted.

Others were outraged that we were a disgrace. Some even told us, instead of stripping, go help these women.
We are, in our way. What are you doing?

1897949_512124902239275_1256976265_n1904183_512267582225007_1346064188_n1621919_512298095555289_522925286_n

Paris, London, Brussels, NYC, Boston, and other cities are joining our cause. It’s not about us. It’s about all of you.

We’re all Jackies.
It can be about Lebanon, but we are starting to think that it is now about the youth, since we’re getting international support.

They’re all shocked of how a 22 year old was attacked for being a model, and not praised for being an athlete.

I think enough was said about the matter. Mohamad has even said it better, I now urge you all “Jackie supporters” to support her by watching her perform on the 21st.

If we can gather around for the world cup, we can gather for her race and thank her for being the drop that mattered and woke us up about all the other issues that need to be addressed!

Before the campaign, I have seen 3 of my friends sharing the Manal Assi story.

After the campaign, my news feed is flooded with Manal Assi, Roula Yaacoub and Jean Assi’s pictures and articles. I think the point has been made!

Abusive relationships? Why women refrain from breaking it? And vice versa…

As a resident doctor at AUB Medical Center (Beirut), Lubna Abul-Husn took a deep interest in domestic abuse.

Ten years ago, she interviewed dozens of patients, cataloging their experiences at home with “intimate partner violence,” a term that refers to physical, emotional and verbal abuse of a close partner or spouse.

Kareem Shaheen published in the Lebanese daily The Daily Star, this Oct. 19, 2013: “Why do women in Lebanon stay in abusive relationships?”

Lubna Abul-Husn then spent a year in France studying family legal medicine, returned home and ended her engagement with a fiancé from her province.

Her fiance broke into her home, killed her, her mother and her sister, before committing suicide, according to her colleagues at the time.

File - Women activists protest against domestic violence near the Parliament in Beirut, Monday, July 22, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

File – Women activists protest against domestic violence near the Parliament in Beirut, Monday, July 22, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

“It was devastating,” said Johnny Awwad, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and head of the division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at AUB Medical Center, and Abul-Husn’s colleague.

Awwad, along with other doctors at AUB, completed the analysis of Abul-Husn’s research. The paper was finally submitted for publication this year in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

“We couldn’t really look at this paper for the longest time,” he said. “We had been avoiding looking back at this phase but I don’t think that gives her justice.”

The study polled 100 married women aged 20-65 who were visiting the AUB Medical Center for gynecological care.  91 women responded to the survey.

It is one of the few studies that tries to quantify the prevalence of domestic abuse in Lebanon, and that looks at the reasons behind why women here stay in abusive relationships.

But perhaps its most startling discovery is how even women in these relationships find it completely normal for such abuse to happen – a testament to how ingrained the gender imbalance is in society.

“Intimate partner violence is an underestimated problem in Lebanon and has been largely ignored by the local authorities,” the study said.

“The Lebanese health care system has failed so far to play a proactive role in identifying and referring abused women, mostly because the recognition of an abusive pattern in women is often blurred by cultural and societal taboos.”

Over 40% of the women polled said they had suffered from physical abuse. A third endured sexual abuse, nearly two-thirds were victims of verbal abuse, and 19% said they had experienced emotional abuse.

More than a fifth of the women had suffered social isolation imposed by their husbands.

The top reasons women expressed as a reason for staying in an abusive relationship were a lack of familial and social support, lack of financial resources and fear that their husband would take away the children.

In 8 of the cases that suffered physical abuse, medical attention was required and three cases were admitted to hospital with vertebral fractures and miscarriages.

But the study went further, selecting a subsample of 33 women and asking them open-ended questions on their husbands’ treatment.

All the women, including those who were abused, said they were satisfied with their husbands’ treatment.

“Many abused women are totally resigned to their situation and decide to stay in an abusive relationship because of the fear of losing their children, the need to conform to social expectations, the lack of financial independence, the lack of family support, and the duty to obey their spouses,” the researchers said.

Domestic abuse appeared to usher in other social ills.

Women who suffered physical and verbal abuse were more likely to be smokers.

Husbands who had a history of alcohol abuse were more likely to impose social and economic isolation on their wives.

Declining monthly income made it more likely for a husband to use a weapon against his wife, while a higher number of children offered a protective factor for women, illustrating the challenges wrought by economic, security and political instability in the country.

The head and the extremities were the most frequent areas of the woman’s body suffering from physical injury, and hitting was the most frequent mechanism of abuse followed by slapping and pushing.

The rate of domestic violence in Lebanon is in sync with other developing countries and Arab societies, where comparable rates of abuse are present as well as similar justifications for staying in abusive relationships.

As part of their recommendations, the study’s authors, who are all doctors at AUB Medical Center, said that health centers in Lebanon ought to routinely screen patients in order to identify victims of domestic abuse.

Awwad said that such a step, while there is no evidence that it reduces abuse, would be a first step toward referring victims of abuse to support groups and treating the root causes of some of their problems.

But part of the issue is that the conversation around domestic abuse in Lebanon often focuses on anecdotal cases of violence, rather than tracking the prevalence of the issue in society.

“It is not enough to create support groups in our society that come and tell you that he’s been hitting you, he’s been abusing you, come to us and we’re going to support you,” Awwad said.

“Then what? Who is going to support the kids and secure her re-entry into society that stigmatizes her,” he said. “They cannot create another society for her. It’s a dead end, unfortunately, in this part of the world.”

That is partly because of the tribal nature of Lebanese society.

“Lebanon is a big tribe,” he said. “Where you go people would know you and would stigmatize you. You would have to travel and leave the country. So you’d have to stay with the family and your husband and believe that it’s normal.”

This,  Awwad said, leads to an acceptance of domestic abuse as a normal part of existence. The other issue is cultural.

The study’s authors said that domestic violence against women tends to be seen as a private, internal matter and not a major public health issue in Arab societies that are “patriarchal and characterized by male authority and dominance.”

That is reflected in how intimate partner violence had been largely ignored by local legal and religious authorities.

Awwad and his colleagues point to the initial rejections by religious authorities of domestic abuse legislation, which they saw as usurping the role of religion which already deals with the issue of domestic violence, and the continued failure to pass laws against domestic abuse.

A law protecting women from violence has been in legislative limbo for a long time due to Parliament’s failure to convene. Religious authorities initially opposed the legislation because they said Islam already deals with women’s rights and domestic relations.

“It would be a good step to pass this law,” Awwad said, adding that it could help deter some abuse, but would not be able to erase the “inherent right” that many men feel they have in wielding power in the household.

That built-in inequality is what poses enormous challenges to those who seek to challenge domestic abuse and society’s complacency toward it. There is little recourse but to begin at a young age, when minds are malleable and prejudice has not yet taken hold.

Values such as equality of women should be introduced at an early stage in education in order to combat such attitudes, Awwad said.

“I think it needs a generation, unfortunately,” he added.

Note: Let’s give priority for women acquiring full citizenship rights as men have.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 19, 2013, on page 3.

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2013/Oct-19/235036-why-do-women-in-lebanon-stay-in-abusive-relationships.ashx#ixzz2iBqWpFD1
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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