Friday, November 30, 2007

Violence Against Women Is Still a Problem

by Abeer Mishkhas from Arab News (Saudi Arabia)

We cannot but see the irony of the day against the backdrop of the continuing coverage of the Qatif girl and how her story has turned from a clear case of rape to a bigger and wider one that at its core includes terrible violence ... It has been interesting to follow the online comments from readers and members of the public about the case. A shift in perspective has become very clear; now there are voices asking for stoning and some are asking for death — for the girl of course. Some readers have blamed the media for defaming the girl’s reputation by asking for more information on the case; some others have accused the press of tarnishing the Kingdom’s image abroad ... It is easy to explain since the official statements made it clear that the girl was breaking a rigid social law. What gave the girl the final blow were details about her appearance and the insinuation that she was breaking a moral law. That evidently was enough to cloud the eyes of the public with prejudice and it was but a single step from there to thinking that she violated a social taboo and so she deserved what she got. And we are celebrating the International Day for Eliminating Violence Against Women. Here I drop my pen.

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