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West bank: Women’s groups seek law against honour killings

Four women have been killed in Palestine since the beginning of 2013

Gulf News

Ramallah: The murders of four women since the beginning of the year on ‘family honour’ grounds in the West Bank has motivated women’s organisations to demand a law against the practice.

Women’s groups have organised several protests in various West Bank cities with further activities planned. The protesters are demanding an immediate implementation of a fair and tough law that fully protects women from violence and murder on honour grounds.

Lubna Al Ashqar, Media Coordinator at the Palestinian Women’s Affairs Team, said in an official statement that Palestinian society holds the woman accountable for family honour crimes. “In the view of our society, the victim is accused and blamed in the event the murder takes place,” she said. “The woman becomes the reason for the crime not the victim. This perspective should be changed immediately.”

West Bank-based women organisations urged the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and the Palestinian government to impose a law that protects women from violence, saying that action should be taken to provide women with the necessary protection.

“Women in Palestine urgently need a civilised law which protects their lives,” said Lubna.

The organisations will hold several strikes in front of various Palestinian institutions to alert them to the need for the implementation of a law that protects woman. The theme is “No to Murdering Women”.

During last year (2012) 13 women were murdered on family honour grounds in the Palestinian territories, with the number expected to rise this year and in the years to come.

Sabah Salamah, a woman’s rights activist, said that the Palestinian government should show seriousness about murder crimes against women. “Laws that deter men from murdering women should be put in place to spare more women’s lives in Palestine,” she told Gulf News.