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Wednesday, 23 January, 2002, 23:32 GMT
Jordanian women fight 'honour killings'
Amman
About 24 Jordanian women die every year in honour killings
By Caroline Hawley in Amman

Women activists in Jordan have expressed disappointment with a court verdict sentencing a man to just six months for killing his daughter for having sex before marriage.

Jordanian women activists have been campaigning for years to have honour killings de-legitimised.

Arab women
Women activists want a minimum five-year sentence for honour killing
Last month they won a small victory when the government cancelled an exemption from the death penalty for men who kill female relatives found committing adultery.

There are about 24 such murders in Jordan each year.

The new legal changes make it possible for women to divorce if they repay the dowry given by their husband.

They also require men who marry more than once, as Islam allows, to inform both their first and their new wives.

Women activists have welcomed these amendments but they say the legal changes on honour crimes do not go nearly far enough, because a man can still get a reduced sentence for acting in anger.

'No deterrent'

That is what has happened in the latest case.

The man, from a conservative rural area, is reported to have killed his daughter with an implement similar to a meat cleaver when he found out she had had sex before marriage.

Women activists say his six-month sentence offers no real deterrent to men who kill in the name of honour.

They plan to lobby the next parliament for a minimum five year sentence for honour crimes.

But they are already expecting to meet stiff resistance with many conservative MPs known to oppose their aims.

See also:

13 May 01 | Middle East
Beirut hosts 'honour killing' conference
24 Apr 00 | Middle East
Jordanian women killed 'for honour'
14 Feb 00 | Middle East
Royals lead honour killing protest
13 Aug 99 | Middle East
Jordanian 'honour killings' condemned
22 Sep 99 | South Asia
Pakistan will study 'honour killings'
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