Women, the Koran and International Human Rights Law: The Experience of Pakistan
Other sexual relations are criminalised. In general terms, Islamic criminal law is a two-tier system. The top tier consists of certain defined offences entailing fixed punishments and known as hadd offences. Here, the determination both of the offence and of the punishment is a matter for the discretion of the authorities, executive and judicial.
Goodwin, J. This book examines how the concept of honour in a number of Muslim countries may affect Muslim women. Leader-Elliott, I. This chapter explores how the law of provocation in Australia embodies notions of sexuality and honour and is defined in terms of sexual provocation. Sexual provocation is seen as a cultural defence to the murder of women, which transcends religious and ethnic boundaries. A historical analysis reveals that in relation to adultery, French law relied on the notion of the violation of honour while English law was more concerned with violation of property rights.
In the law of sexual provocation, a widening defence is established just at the time that the law reduces the legal controls in civil status of men over women. Mahmud, J. This article examines two perspectives concerning refugee women in legal literature. The second perspective argues that a distinction must be drawn between a persecutory ground and that issues relating to sex can be better addressed within the legal structures which currently exist.
The article first provides a backdrop to the debate which discusses sexual violence and other forms of violence against women which exist in the refugee context; then gives a detailed exposition of both perspectives; discusses relevant practice in the area with reference to the Canadian experience; and finally provides comparisons and conclusions. Thomas, D.
M, eds. This chapter details diverse forms of violence against women in a number of countries. It highlights how violations against women may possess certain similarities worldwide yet the manner in which women experience mistreatment can differ vastly within and between different countries.
Women’s Rights in Pakistan: failed by a culture of intolerance and impunity | The Elders
The state is reluctant to intervene, often colluding with the perpetrators or failing to provide adequate protection for women. Discriminatory family laws are often justified in the name of tradition. Whitman, J. In response to the scattered reappearance of shame sanctions in the United States, this article attempts to explicate what is wrong with inflicting these sanctions. Following an historical review of the social and political arguments utilised by reformers during the th centuries to abolish shame sanctions in Europe and America, it is concluded that there exists no straightforward liberal tradition to show why engaging in the mere public display of offenders, without corporal violence, is wrong.
Numerous social changes since the 19th century, which have made the resurgence of shame sanctions possible, have additionally rendered past arguments against them irrelevant. The article concludes that shame sanctions are wrong as they involve a species of official lynch justice with an ugly and politically dangerous complicity between the state and the crowd.
It is argued that the most disturbing shame sanctions are those conveying the message that government has abdicated its monopoly of power to punish crime and that when the public serves as an agent of punishment, this runs counter to the norms of democratic rule of law.
Youssef, N. The family, as the primary source of identity, controls individual behaviour through the social value of honour. Family honour is linked to the interdependent characteristics of the manliness of the man machismo and sexual purity of the woman verguenza. It is expected that a social system in which the security of a man's honour lies in the sexual purity of his female relatives will engender within its very structure rules confining women to a traditional role of marriage and motherhood. In contrast, data from Middle Eastern countries is presented which illustrates that most of the normative expectations regarding the female role are being met.
This article further argues that feminine behaviour in Latin America diverges from cultural norms as the monolithic system of family authority and institutionalisation of ideal family norms have been weakened by two primary factors: the impact of the Spanish conquest and the influence exercised by the Catholic clergy. These situational circumstances have enabled a range of alternative behavioural patterns for women to supersede the single traditional role circumscribed by culture and sustained by family ideals.
Andrade, V. This article reflects on the feminist stand on the ability of the criminal justice system to protect women against violence. The article argues that the use of the criminal justice system for the protection of women is flawed. The system is selective and unequal and results in institutional violence which also affects the victims.
Women who make use of the criminal justice system may find themselves subjected to institutional violence which reproduces the structural violence of capitalist and patriarchal relationships. In cases of violence against women, the central issue is not the aggression and violation of freedom suffered by the woman concerned, nor the conduct of the man, but generally involves the examination of the character, social status and the past of both victim and perpetrator.
The article argues that sexual reputation is as decisive for female culpability as social status is for male culpability. The protected legal object in crimes against women is the dominant sexual morals and not the sexual freedom or physical integrity of women. The author concludes by affirming that only by changing the male legal paradigm can women achieve symmetry of rights. The article stresses the serious crisis of legitimacy of the criminal justice system in Brazil. The article also points out that the criminal justice system faces ambiguous demands by society. On the one hand, there is a demand for a minimalist approach to sentencing, and on the other a demand for the criminalisation of certain conduct.
Feminist demands encompass this ambiguity, by demanding decriminalisation of abortion, adultery and seduction, for instance, and the criminalisation of other acts, such as domestic violence and sexual harassment. The article questions the logic behind this contradictory methodology and the value of the criminal justice system in protecting women against violence. Rather than find protection in the system, women are put on trial and divided.
The author considers the criminal justice system unable to serve as a source of cohesion and unity for women, instead acting as a dispersion and exclusionary strategy which recreates inequalities and social prejudice. Legitimisation of the criminal justice system as a forum for addressing problems faced by women also deviates efforts within the feminist movement towards more creative, radical and efficient solutions. Barsted, L. Victimology, the branch of criminology which investigates the contribution of the victim to the occurrence of crime, is the theme explored in this article.
Although in certain situations the conduct of the victim may be decisive for a dramatic turn of events, it is important to bear in mind that cultural standards of behaviour work distinctively and what could be considered as contributory conduct for a woman may be regarded as normal for a man. Social scientists should not allow victimology to be manipulated through a gender point of view. There is no evidence to suggest that women have a docile, sweet nature and men a violent and aggressive one.
Statistics show that men are mostly victims of violence committed by strangers, whereas women are most likely to suffer violence committed inside their own homes. It is suggested that it is not helpful to see women as passive beings suffering violence. In many recorded cases, women are killed by their husbands precisely because they are trying to separate or create conditions for a possible future separation.
The article argues that the lack of a strong position by the State in relation to domestic violence reinforces the idea that this kind of aggression belongs in the private sphere. There is a tension between the rule of law and the influence of prevailing social norms which sanction wife-murder on grounds of honour and which have been endorsed by the judiciary. The report calls for changes to how the police and the judiciary deal with such cases and also for the government to be held responsible for failing to fulfil its obligations under both domestic and international law to guarantee equal protection to its citizens without regard to sex.
Maguigan, H. While both feminists and multiculturalists have advocated for inclusion of a wider variety of voices in American jurisprudence, they have perceived themselves to be on opposite sides of a vigorously disputed issue, viz. Some feminists argue that any admissibility of cultural evidence in cases involving male violence against women ultimately condones such violence. In this article, the author argues that the criminal justice system can and must begin to accommodate the seemingly irreconcilable goals of feminists and multiculturalists.
Surveying current treatment of cultural evidence put forward by both male and female defendants in cases of domestic and non-family violence, she concludes that courts have wrongly adopted an all-or-nothing approach, either excluding all cultural evidence or admitting it without challenge. The prosecution may then challenge this evidence, as it does other relevant defence evidence, through cross-examination, rebuttal testimony and reasoned argument.
Nelson, L. Scapini, M.
The article examines the statistics of convicted offenders in the Brazilian prison system and describes women offenders as generally having committed non-violent crimes, or being accomplices or accessories to violent crimes. It stresses the fact that women are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system as victims rather than perpetrators. A few important developments have occurred in Brazilian jurisprudence, particularly due to the mobilisation of feminists. This may indicate a move from the traditional approach to criminal justice policy of avoidance of interference with crimes against women, particularly in the context of domestic violence.
The author, a practising lawyer, argues that changes are needed in the criminal justice system in order to give support to those involved in domestic crimes, by providing counselling to victims and offenders alike. It is also suggested that judges and other officials should receive appropriate training in dealing with sensitive issues such as domestic violence and sexual crimes.get link
Women, the Koran and International Human Rights Law: The Experience of Pakistan
Spatz, M. Throughout the world, men who murder their wives encounter legal systems lenient toward their crimes. This article examines three types of legal system which employ distinct means to reduce or eliminate criminal penalties for men who kill their wives. Criminal justice systems in Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Syria utilise statutes or customary law to achieve these aims.
The article outlines a second type of system, in which positive laws designed to protect women from their husbands are not enforced. In this context, a detailed review is made of the phenomenon of dowry deaths in India, in which young brides are murdered by their husbands to obtain higher dowries. Lastly, this article examines two countries, Brazil and the United States, in which judges have created defences for men who kill their wives. Lastly, some courts in the United States have formally recognised a "cultural defence" which invokes racial, ethnic and religious factors to lessen a defendant's responsibility for certain crimes.
This cultural defence is utilised disproportionately in wife-murder cases. This article concludes that the problem of lenient sentences for wife-murderers exists on a universal scale, thus not resulting from religious or cultural factors but from shared attitudes about women's worth and their proper role in society. Spierenburg, P.
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This book analyses the relationship between gender relations, masculinity, and constructions of honour in Europe and America. The criteria of judgement depend on the socio-cultural context of the community. Identifying the different standards of honour and masculinity is therefore a cross- cultural enterprise. A historical analysis of western societies reveals that a shift in the way the body and gender were perceived was accompanied by a transformation in concepts of gender and honour. The ancient code of honour and its accompanying culture of violence have not disappeared entirely.