Jordanians stage sit-in in front of parliament to protest gender-based killings

Published December 2nd, 2016 - 03:00 GMT
Around 200 men, women and children protested outside the parliament building in Amman demanding amendments to laws that discriminate against women in Jordan. (File photo)
Around 200 men, women and children protested outside the parliament building in Amman demanding amendments to laws that discriminate against women in Jordan. (File photo)

Around 200 people staged a sit-in front of Parliament on Thursday to demand an end to killing women in Jordan.

“We are witnessing an increase in women’s murders in Jordan, many at the hands of their relatives, so we decided to come here to demand an end to such barbaric practices,” Jordanian Women’s Union (JWU) President Tahani Shakhshir said.

“We want the Cabinet and the Parliament to take concrete actions to amend legislation and ensure better protection for women in Jordan,” Shakhshir told The Jordan Times.

At the same time, the JWU president added: “We hold the state responsible for ensuring better protection for women and amending all the laws that discriminate against them.”

The sit-in was organised by the JWU as part of the Kingdom’s activities to commemorate the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence in Jordan.

“Our activities will continue after the 16-day campaign, and we will send a memo to the Lower House with our demands,” Shakhshir said.

Men, women and children, independent activists, and members of various civil society organisations and held banners that said: “stop the killing of women”, “you have slaughtered us with your honour” and “we should stop being silent about the killing of women”.

MP Khaled Ramadan (Amman, 3rd District), who met with the demonstrators, told The Jordan Times that “we have to sound the alarm because of the increase in reported murders against women in Jordan”.

“I believe that any violation of women’s rights is a violation against the nation,” Ramadan said.

He added that “anyone who is quiet about murders of women is considered complicit”.

Twenty-year-old Mohammad Malkawi, who was wearing a T-shirt calling for an end to the killing of women, said he came to the protest “to let our deputies hear our voice”.

“The reported cases of women homicides are on the rise. We have to let our MPs know that we are against this,” Malkawi told The Jordan Times.

Lawyer and activist Noor Imam joined her voice to the demonstrators by calling on the government to take serious steps to protect women and amend all the laws that discriminates against them. 

“We are here to unite with other women’s groups in saying no to violence against women,” Imam, who is the secretary general of the Jordanian Justices Association, told The Jordan Times.

Deputy Dima Tahboub (Amman, 3rd District) and spokesperson of the National Coalition for Reform, led by the Islamic Action Front, said she is against the killing of women.

“I am surely against the killing of women, but we, as a bloc in the Lower House, have to wait for the draft laws related to women to be discussed under the Dome to declare our position,” Tahboub told The Jordan Times over the phone.

She added that women’s groups should also lobby MPs, as well as religious, social, and legal entities, “to explain the particulars of the law and gain support”.


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