Violence Against Women in Palestine and Mediocre Accountability

Authors: Tamara Tawfiq Tamimi Published date: 29-10-2017 Status: Published

Violence Against Women (VAW) is a worldwide pervasive phenomenon. This submission makes use of a variety of primary and secondary resources; such as legislation, international law instruments, official statistics, books and book chapters, and journal articles. The focus on VAW will be in the Palestinian context, with occasional reference to “honour” crimes where appropriate. The article will commence in covering the main points of convergence and divergence in the literature available on VAW and “honour” crimes. Further, the occurrence and prevalence of VAW – in Palestine – will be situated and analysed within the social, economic and legal dimensions of patriarchy. An in-depth, critical analysis of the impact of colonialism and neo-liberalism/ capitalism will be employed to deconstruct the factors that underpin VAW. Moreover, this section will highlight the persistence of VAW; shedding light on the absence of alternatives, for women survivors of violence and the role of the legal system. For the purposes of critically engaging with VAW, exclusive focus will be dedicated to the treatment of the penal code applied in Palestinian courts of HRV, and crimes in the Palestinian society. The final part of the paper will tackle “law” as a medium to address VAW, highlighting its importance through showcasing the impact of legal reform efforts—a temporal analysis of progress within this parameter will be employed. To further vindicate the need for comprehensive action in pursuance of gender equality, complementary strategies that feed into the “prevent” component of the due diligence standard, as well as the transformative equality concept of the gender mainstreaming model will be presented; including educational reform, economic empowerment, and rehabilitation of perpetrators. Thus, seeking to identify possible answers for the reasons that make legal reform insufficient to eliminate VAW, and thereafter determine necessary strategies to complement legal reform.

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