Femicide and the Palestinian criminal justice system: Seeds of change in the context of state building?

Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite the criminalization of abuses inflicted upon women, laws are still considered major sources of women's oppression. This article discusses how Palestinian society and its criminal justice system, during a politically formative period of state building, relates to "femicide." Femicide in this study pertains to the murder of girls or women for allegedly committing "crimes of family honor." Official statistics, Cassation Court rulings, and six documented cases were analyzed in depth to determine the role played by the penal code, the legal system, and the external sociocultural context in exonerating the perpetrator of femicide and placing the victim on trial. The data reflect a silent masculine conspiracy that empowers sexist and gender-biased legal policies. The article concludes by challenging Palestinian legislators to fight legal discrimination against women, It argues that state-building periods can be a "window of hope," offering societies such as Palestine's the unique opportunity to reexamine and reconstruct their laws from a gender-sensitive position.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)577-605+507
JournalLaw and Society Review
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

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