Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Domestic Violence - An Increase

From the News Observer:
A Saudi judge told a conference on domestic violence that a man has the right to slap a wife who spends money wastefully and said women were as much to blame as men for increased spousal abuse, a Saudi newspaper reported.

The remarks do not carry the weight of law, as they were made out of court. But such public pronouncements by Saudi judges - who are also Islamic clerics - are often widely respected.

A rights activist decried the remarks and said she and other campaigners viewed them as the latest setback in women's efforts to gain the right to vote, drive, freely participate in politics and be protected from violence.

The comments at a recent conference were given as part of an explanation for an increase in domestic violence in the country. The judge said women were equally responsible for the increase, the newspaper quoted him as saying.

The paper did not say exactly when the conference was held. The judge could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Women in the audience loudly protested the judge's remarks, the newspaper said.

And from the Star Online:
The vast majority of Iraqi women face domestic violence on a regular basis and many commit suicide because of it, the United Nations said on Wednesday.

Iraq and the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan should take measures to stop violence against women, including honour killings and genital mutilation, the UN mission in Iraq, known as UNAMI, said in a regular report on human rights.

Iraq should "investigate incidents involving gender-based violence, in particular the so-called 'honour crimes' perpetrated against women, and take measures to ensure that persons found responsible for committing these crimes are held accountable and brought to justice", UNAMI said.

UNAMI said it was concerned about threats against women because of the way they dressed, and it repeated a statement from November that women were threatened by rape, sex trafficking, forced and early marriages, murder and abduction.

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