Reconstructing Justice: Rape in Jordan and Palestine

Nadera Shalhloub-Kevorkian, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The criminalization of sexual abuses in colonized and occupied countries was affected by various socio-political factors. In both Jordan and Palestine, legislative councils did not have the chance or the willilngness to look closely and re-examine such abuses, and reconstruct them in a more humane context. The presentation examines the criminalization fo sexual abuses in two Middle Eastern countries. The data consists of ten years of court decisions in relation to child rape in Jordan, and six years of rape in the West Bank. Court decisions in both locations suggest that female sexual abuse was and is still treated in a gender biased manner. not only that the child's voice was not heard in court decisions, but also that criminal justice personnel used "cultural" and patriarchal justifications to further silence victims. The implications of such findings for sexually abused children are drawn and discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006