Are Middle Eastern Countries Encouraging Femicide?
Femicide is becoming a common issue in Middle Eastern countries. Young women in a span of weeks have been attacked and died in separate incidents in Jordon and Egypt.
Women are easy targets in low-income groups where they have been seen fending for themselves or their families. Most of the cases of death have come through those where women refused romantic advances. Men, in rage and fury killed their prospective love interests. Some were arrested, many commit suicide post the act. Apart from Middle East, cases of honor killing or female infanticide are common in Africa and Asia as well.
In what UN Women describes as the “shadow pandemic,” studies have shown that rates of violence against women have increased in recent decades, and that there was a significant rise in cases of domestic violence following the start of COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.
UN Women reports that an estimated 736 million women worldwide, which is 30 percent of all women age 15 or older, have been subjected to physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner, sexual violence by a non-partner, or both, at least once in their lives.
Many cases of gender-based violence go unreported, with less than 40 percent of women reporting such crimes or seeking help of any sort, UN Women said in 2021. Assaults and murders considered “crimes of passion,” or as a result of rejection, often make the news as a result of initial citizen reports on social media that attract the attention of authorities.
In 1979, the UN adopted the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, also known as the international bill of women’s rights, comprehensively addressing what constitutes women’s rights.
Since 1991, 187 countries have endorsed the CEDAW, adopting it as the legally binding international treaty that requires them to abolish discrimination against women by providing them with the same access and opportunities as their male counterparts.
In November 2020, finally, Saudi Arabia of all Arab countries could acknowledge violence against women as unjust and liable for imprisonment. The Saudi Public Prosecution Office issued new penalties for abuse against women that included imprisonment and hefty fines for any physical, psychological, or sexual assault against women in the Kingdom.