KHF Outreach
IRC Project Launches Findings of Study on Honor Crimes
2nd October 2009

2 October 2009, Amman – The King Hussein Foundation's Information and Research Center (IRC) has completed the first stage of a European Commission-funded project entitled Removing 'Honor' from ‘Crimes of Honor': A Project to Change the Jordanian Mindset by launching the findings of a study in a plenary conference last Thursday. This initiative for women's empowerment forms an integral part of King Hussein Foundation's social and economic development programs.

The study was conducted by the IRC, the Mafraq Center for Development, Economic Research and Analysis (MACDERA) and the Jordan Center for Social Research (JCSR). Data was collated on victims and perpetrators, using official economic and social statistics, and through access to Public Security Department records and case files to fully support the research. 
The EU Ambassador, KHF Executive Director, IRC Director and academic researchers at the plenary conference on honor crimes
The study revealed that economic factors including poverty, educational attainment and unemployment, contribute to the occurance of  the so called honor crimes.

The study found that 66% of the criminal perpetrators were economically disadvantaged males and 73% of victims were economically disadvantaged females.

'Given that the poor in Jordan represent 30% of the population, the percentage of poor victims should have been 30%, not 73%', stated Yusuf Mansur who presented the economic component of the study. This shows a high correlation between so-called honor crimes and poverty,’ Dr. Mansur said.

The study also found a strong association between economic growth and decreased incidents of so-called honor crimes, and the same trend in reverse.

Findings of the social aspect of the research presented by Musa Shteiwi covered the entrenched social system of patriarchy, legislative issues and the official position of Islam which rejects such a crime.
The head of the EC delegation to Jordan Patrick Renauld noted that violence against women is a worldwide problem linked to power and illegitimate willingness of control, and that one in five women in Europe experience violence by their male partners.

Nermeen Murad, director of the IRC, emphasized the need for civil society to speak up and to put an end to the crime’s association with honor. ‘These crimes are a reflection of societal and economic ills that need to be determined and addressed,’ she said.

Among the audience were members of community-based organisations, community leaders, Senators, parliamentarians, judges, lawyers, social workers, members of the police force and students from King Hussein Foundation’s Jubilee School.

The launch of the study was followed by a heated discussion of its implications among the audience.

Among some of the study’s recommendations were the modification of legislation to make penalties for this crime harsher, the provision of support for institutions that deal with the crime, and improving economic, legal and social welfare of underprivileged communities, especially women. All findings of the study will be posted on the website

The second stage of the EC-funded project will focus on carrying out the awareness-raising component of the project targeting university and school students nationally through specially designed lectures and dialogue sessions. The project will also conduct a series of awareness campaigns utilizing television and radio to rally society to join in the effort towards the eradication of the crime’s perceived link to honor in the common psyche.

Launched in 1996 as part of the National Task Force for Children, the IRC works to improve the well-being of children, youth, women and families by providing research and analysis to practitioners, policy makers and advocates in Jordan and the Middle East to enable effective socio-economic planning and decision making.

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