The participants analyzed the factors that contributed to the increased number of honor killings in the Palestinian society.
HONOR KILLINGS IN PALESTINIAN SOCIETY
The Palestinian Association for Empowerment and Local Development- REFORM, organized a cultural session to present and discuss a documentary film entitled “Maria’s Grotto”, directed, produced and photographed by Buthaina Khoury. This activity is part of the “Fostering social inclusion and gender equality within Palestinian society through tackling gender stereotypes” project, which is co-funded by the European Union within the framework of the regional programme Med Film.
The documentary film sheds light on honor killings and large-scale family losses along with the social repercussions that come as a result. Also, it discussed the issue of tribal rule, its influence on the law, and its impact on the ability of the judiciary and police to enforce decisions issued in honor killings. Further, the film showed the differences between the older upbringing, modern education, and the conflict between different generations.
THE SOCIAL REPERCUSSIONS OF HONOR KILLINGS
After the participants attended the 25-minute film, they discussed its content by analyzing the reasons as to why individuals resort to honor killings, the cultural and societal challenges that affect women’s and parents’ choices, and how these challenges play a negative role towards women. They pointed out that the customs, traditions, and culture, which are based on fearing a negative reputation, contributed to the increased number of cases of violence and murder in the Palestinian society. As a result, women lost their self-confidence along with their ability to make their own decisions and practice their own rituals freely. Although women have the right to carry out their own actions, behaviors, and practices freely, others disagree.
THE ROLE OF LAW IN PREVENTING HONOR KILLINGS
Moreover, the participants discussed the role of the judiciary and the rule of law to reduce such crimes by strengthening the law to guarantee the right of women to enjoy life. The tribal system is the prominent obstacle that affects the legal and judicial system in the Palestinian society. In some cases, the victim is criminalized and rights are forfeited. As a result, psychological and physical damage are brought upon families. The internal political problems are represented in the Palestinian division due to the cessation of the work of the Palestinian Legislative Council. This has been reflected in the legislative process that helped ease the work of the judicial organization and prevented the enactment of strict laws as well as the application of existing laws.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
The project aims to counter discriminatory practices and attitudes that contribute to the promotion of gender inequality, provide safe spaces for youth, including women and refugees, encourage discussions regarding gender-based societal issues, and improve the exchange of experiences among the various components of the Palestinian society to enhance social cohesion.