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Egypt-Circumventing Honour Killings

Egypt-Circumventing Honour Killings

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Published by bgeller4936
honour killing,honor killing, Egypt
honour killing,honor killing, Egypt

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Published by: bgeller4936 on Jan 05, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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12-01-05 5:31 PMEGYPT: Circumventing honour killings - TrustLawPage 1 of 5http://www.trust.org/trustlaw/news/egypt-circumventing-honour-killings
EGYPT: Circumventing honour killings
21 Sep 2011 01:32
Source: Content partner // Mannar Amar//WNNA supporter of Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak reads the Koran near pro-Mubarak posters in Cairo August 3, 2011. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah DalshBy Mannar Amar
Women News Network
WNN) CAIRO: Twenty-two-year-old Amira went through a clandestine abortionto escape society’s retributions. She was in love with her boyfriend of five yearsand insisted that the pregnancy was an innocent mistake.
When she first realized that she was late on her menstruation cycle she felt helplessand did not know who to trust.“I couldn’t ask any of my friends because they would judge me as a sinner andwould never speak to me again; if they said anything to anyone and the wordreached my family, I could have been killed,” she admitted.Amira is referring to the practice of killing, a social and cultural agency by families
12-01-05 5:31 PMEGYPT: Circumventing honour killings - TrustLawPage 2 of 5http://www.trust.org/trustlaw/news/egypt-circumventing-honour-killings
“to wash away their disgrace.”The families murder the woman who as “sinned” as a means of reclaiming thefamily’s honor and pride in society. Hundreds of cases go unreported andundocumented, the few ones that do get little attention from the media or judicialauthorities. Men are seldom punished harshly for the murder they have committed.A lot of the time families do not need or wait for any physical proof of the woman’sindiscretions, rumours alone are sometimes sufficient to cause an honour killing.In September, two brothers along with their uncle were accused of murdering theirsister after hearing rumours about her. The three men had dragged the girl alongwith her three year old child to an isolated area and then strangled her with a headscarf in front of her baby. Police said that they stabbed her in the chest and thestomach with a knife to make sure she was dead. Later that night, they dumped the body in the sewer system where it was found and taken to the coroner’s office.The deceased, Karima Metawe, 20, was married to a butcher who works in Libya. Her brother and uncle alleged they had heard rumours that she left the house to go out,while leaving her child behind. Therefore, they took her life to ‘restore’ their family’shonor.Amira doesn’t know Karima, but she knows that the odds are against her if word gotout about her pregnancy.With no one to seek advice from, she turned to her boyfriend, who tracked down adoctor’s phone number from a friend who had faced a similar situation.“Men are lucky that they are not judged by each other,” Amira commented on thelarger support system that grants men a more privileged societal position in Egypt.Despite all the social and moral ostracism that Egyptian women go through whenfaced with the question of abortion, a study by Huntington in 1998 found that theinduced abortion rate in Egypt is is 14.8 per 100 pregnancies, a staggeringly highnumber. Compared to the United States – where approximately two percent of women aged 15-54 have an abortion- Egypt’s abortion rates are seven times higher.Amira had to wear a fake gold wedding ring around her finger and make up a storyof how her “husband” and she couldn’t afford to raise a child at that point in time.
12-01-05 5:31 PMEGYPT: Circumventing honour killings - TrustLawPage 3 of 5http://www.trust.org/trustlaw/news/egypt-circumventing-honour-killings
“I was aware that he knew I was lying, but I couldn’t tell the truth; I was ashamed,”she admitted.Egyptian law criminalize abortion and courts would find a woman guilty if she seeksan induced abortion, even in cases where the woman has died of an unsafe abortion.The law also finds a woman guilty if she willingly chooses an induced abortion withsentences ranging from 6 months to three years imprisonment.However, if a woman’s health is at risk due to a pregnancy, doctors are allowed toperform the abortion after procuring written approval from two other specialists. If awoman’s life is in danger, the doctor is allowed to perform the surgery without theapproval, but then must submit a written report detailing the circumstances andreasons for the abortion.The cost of the surgery is around 800 Egyptian pounds ($165). The bill is brokendown to around LE 600 for the doctor’s fees and LE 200 for the anesthetic, plus thefollow-up medication to prevent infection.Underprivileged women pay much less, but suffer greater health risks in ill-equippedfacilities. A World Health Organization (WHO) 2003 survey found that 1.5 millionabortions in the Middle East and North Africa took place in an “unsafe andunprepared environment or by an unqualified provider or both, making thepercentage one in four women who undergo the operation are in danger of postsurgery health risks.”The post surgery’s complications are behind 11 percent of mothers’ deaths in theregion, the report said.Turkey and Tunisia are the only two countries in the MENA region that allowwomen to get an abortion during the first three months of their pregnancy based onher own wishes and as a result the percentage of women undertaking the surgery hasdropped from 18 percent in 1993 to 11 percent in 2003.In 2005 an official survey in Egypt showed that 56 percent of women usecontraceptives, however, one in every five births in the country was unplanned.“I was praying to God that if I die I don’t go to hell. I asked my “husband” to throwmy body in the Nile so that my family cannot find it and learn why I died,” Amira

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