Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Abused Wives In Yemen Killing Their Husbands

Domestic violence is very prevalent in the Muslim world. This is not so surprising considering the beating of wives is actually sanctioned in the Quran.

QURAN Surah 4:34 - "Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them. Surely God is high, supreme."

Some women have been lucky enough to escape the abuse, like this Algerian ex-Muslimah, Samia Sharif, who fled with her five kids to Quebec, Canada, and now lives under an assumed name, for obvious reasons. But many aren't as lucky, though they are fighting back in their own way. Abused wives in Yemen are actually murdering their abusive husbands, oftentimes with the help of a male relative. 50 women from 25-50 years of age, in 2012 alone, were arrested for doing away with their violent hubbies.

Inequality, domestic violence and “emotional motives” were just some reasons behind such crimes, said the report, adding that the killings took place in Mahweet, Taiz, Hajjah, Sana'a, Amran and Marib.

However, the ministry said that the number of women who were victims of attempted murder was nearly double the number of women involved in killings.

Dr. Mujib Abdul Bari, a specialist in psychiatric and neurological disorders, told that constant physical and psychological abuse drastically changes a person.

Daily abuse makes a woman feel despair at her seemingly hopeless situation, said Bari, adding that women in such situations “forget their femininity and resort to killing their spouse.”

He said that the most notable crime in Yemen took place on August 7, 2012 in a village in the province of Marib, in which a 40-year-old woman killed her husband and two sons following a family dispute.

Bari wants the government to help women realize there are alternatives to dispensing with their husbands, by establishing "awareness programs":

The programs would help women to realize that they are contributing members of society and “to learn not to accept humiliation and be able to make their own decisions,” said Bari.

“In case women have taken a wrong decision in marriage, they should resort to legal solutions, such as divorce or going back to their families [who can] help them on a psychological level.”
Unfortunately, it's going to take a lot more than educating the women. He has no idea how hard it is to extricate oneself from an abusive relationship with a controlling male. And he obviously has no clue how difficult it is for a controlling male to relinquish power, one who believes his religion gives him the right to beat his wife. With a  religion and culture that considers women subservient to men, you would need to re-educate the whole male population, and change the religion itself.  That's not going to happen.

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