Wednesday, May 28, 2014

How long Will We Remember Dunya?

This is a very disturbing article written by  Ruwayda Mustafah Rabar for the Kurdish new service Rudaw (Event)

An unnamed 45-year-old man murdered his 15-year-old wife on May 23 in the
district of Kalakji in the city of Duhok. I will spare readers no details, because it
is important for people to understand what a little girl endured at the hands of an evil man.

For years, we have seen countless incidents of Kurdish women violently
beaten, raped, killed. And for reasons unknown to me, nothing changes with
how we approach these cases. The incident will be all over the news for a
week, maybe two weeks, if women are lucky, and then suddenly people forget
about it.

Dunya was brutally killed -- her breasts cut off, genitals cut into pieces, shot
nine times, her body tied to a car and dragged around, eyes removed. When
her body was washed for burial, the undertaker who washed her body told
Rudaw that, as she poured water over her body, she could hear the grinding of
her broken bones.

Immediately following the murder, the Union of Islamic scholars in Kurdistan
demanded an investigation into the murder, and Kurdish society once more
practiced their time-contingent outrages that seem to
change like the British weather.

Following the news, a demonstration was announced on Facebook, dubbed
“Stand up for Dunya” outside the Kurdistani Parliament in Erbil -- alongside a
vigil for people to pay their respects. In an effort to make ourselves feel better -
- less responsible and more proactive – I am sure many meetings and
workshops will be arranged in the future in light of this incident.

However, what I am more concerned about is, once the media find something
more interesting to talk about, and when the Kurdish society’s moral outrage
withers away, what will happen to the countless young girls stuck in marriages,
or the thousands of Kurdish women who find no haven to escape abusive
marriages and partners.

It has become inbred in our culture that by escaping a violent marriage, seeking
shelter houses, calling the police, demanding equality, we are shaming our
families. In fact, we are shaming our families by accepting horrific violations of
our personal sovereignty and integrity. We have been misguided to accept that
certain acts are not cohesive with Kurdish culture, but the truth is, violence
against women is not cohesive with Kurdish culture.

Our society is very polarized in this regard -- from those who claim that
Kurdistan is backward in every regard and have little room for women -- to
those who claim Kurdistan is a liberating haven for women. Neither side seems
to depict the truer and more complex situation of Kurdish women.

We’re still transitioning into a fully democratic society that respects the rights of
women and embodies universal standards. This does not mean we accept violations
of the rights of women simply because we are “transitioning,” but rather the first
part of the solution is to understand the problems we are facing.

Significant numbers of Kurdish women are highly educated, and there are many
who hold prestigious jobs, and many Kurdish women are independent,
hardworking and successful women. However, we still have women and girls
who are, similar to many countries in the world, forced into marriages or given
no choice but to endure abusive marriages.

The pressing question, I’m fully
aware, is not about whether Kurdish women or Kurdish society is progressive,
but rather about this particular case and how we should respond to it.
There is no doubt that in the coming weeks Dunya will stop making headlines.

Her case, like the previous cases of two young girls murdered and thrown into
a lake, or the recent case of a Syrian refugee who was raped, will be forgotten.
It is important for the Kurdish government and charities to support endeavors
that are specifically designed to let young girls like Dunya and other women
know that there are ways to be helped. We need these women to understand that
we live in a society that can protect them, that can offer them shelter
houses. I understand that there are many problems with the current shelter
houses, how they are shunned and mistreated in some instances, but it is still
better than having your genitals severed, eyes gouged out, breasts cut off,
body tied to a car and shot in the face. We can improve the services that are
available, but we cannot rule them out as an option.

It deeply saddens me to write about these incidents, especially when Kurdish
media outlets have shown so little respect to Dunya. Pictures of her covered in
blood and her body severed by the gruesome violence inflicted on her are on
every media outlet’s coverage.

These pictures have gone viral on social networking sites and it sickens me that
we still don’t have responsible journalism, that we still think it is appropriate to
use such horrific pictures for the sake of sensationalizing the situation and turning
it into a media witch hunt for more views, likes and fans.

Perhaps, once we learn to respect women’s bodies, and give them their due rights,
as equal to men in Kurdish society, we will forgo this horrendous practice.

An unnamed 45-year-old man murdered his 15-year-old wife on May 23 in the district of Kalakji in the city of Duhok. I will spare readers no details, because it is important for people to understand what a little girl endured at the hands of an evil man.


For years, we have seen countless incidents of Kurdish women violently beaten, raped, killed. And for reasons unknown to me, nothing changes with how we approach these cases. The incident will be all over the news for a week, maybe two weeks, if women are lucky, and then suddenly people forget about it.


Dunya was brutally killed -- her breasts cut off, genitals cut into pieces, shot nine times, her body tied to a car and dragged around, eyes removed. When her body was washed for burial, the undertaker who washed her body told Rudaw that, as she poured water over her body, she could hear the grinding of her broken bones. Immediately following the murder, the Union of Islamic scholars in Kurdistan demanded an investigation into the murder, and Kurdish society once more practiced their time-contingent outrages that seem to change like the British weather.


Following the news, a demonstration was announced on Facebook, dubbed “Stand up for Dunya” outside the Kurdistani Parliament in Erbil -- alongside a vigil for people to pay their respects. In an effort to make ourselves feel better -- less responsible and more proactive – I am sure many meetings and workshops will be arranged in the future in light of this incident. However, what I am more concerned about is, once the media find something more interesting to talk about, and when the Kurdish society’s moral outrage withers away, what will happen to the countless young girls stuck in marriages, or the thousands of Kurdish women who find no haven to escape abusive marriages and partners.


It has become inbred in our culture that by escaping a violent marriage, seeking shelter houses, calling the police, demanding equality, we are shaming our families. In fact, we are shaming our families by accepting horrific violations of our personal sovereignty and integrity. We have been misguided to accept that certain acts are not cohesive with Kurdish culture, but the truth is, violence against women is not cohesive with Kurdish culture.


Our society is very polarized in this regard -- from those who claim that Kurdistan is backward in every regard and have little room for women -- to those who claim Kurdistan is a liberating haven for women. Neither side seems to depict the truer and more complex situation of Kurdish women. We’re still transitioning into a fully democratic society that respects the rights of women and embodies universal standards. This does not mean we accept violations of the rights of women simply because we are “transitioning,” but rather the first part of the solution is to understand the problems we are facing.


Significant numbers of Kurdish women are highly educated, and there are many who hold prestigious jobs, and many Kurdish women are independent, hardworking and successful women. However, we still have women and girls who are, similar to many countries in the world, forced into marriages or given no choice but to endure abusive marriages. The pressing question, I’m fully aware, is not about whether Kurdish women or Kurdish society is progressive, but rather about this particular case and how we should respond to it.

- See more at: http://rudaw.net/NewsDetails.aspx?PageID=48392#sthash.8D6h4UXw.dpuf
An unnamed 45-year-old man murdered his 15-year-old wife on May 23 in the district of Kalakji in the city of Duhok. I will spare readers no details, because it is important for people to understand what a little girl endured at the hands of an evil man.


For years, we have seen countless incidents of Kurdish women violently beaten, raped, killed. And for reasons unknown to me, nothing changes with how we approach these cases. The incident will be all over the news for a week, maybe two weeks, if women are lucky, and then suddenly people forget about it.


Dunya was brutally killed -- her breasts cut off, genitals cut into pieces, shot nine times, her body tied to a car and dragged around, eyes removed. When her body was washed for burial, the undertaker who washed her body told Rudaw that, as she poured water over her body, she could hear the grinding of her broken bones. Immediately following the murder, the Union of Islamic scholars in Kurdistan demanded an investigation into the murder, and Kurdish society once more practiced their time-contingent outrages that seem to change like the British weather.


Following the news, a demonstration was announced on Facebook, dubbed “Stand up for Dunya” outside the Kurdistani Parliament in Erbil -- alongside a vigil for people to pay their respects. In an effort to make ourselves feel better -- less responsible and more proactive – I am sure many meetings and workshops will be arranged in the future in light of this incident. However, what I am more concerned about is, once the media find something more interesting to talk about, and when the Kurdish society’s moral outrage withers away, what will happen to the countless young girls stuck in marriages, or the thousands of Kurdish women who find no haven to escape abusive marriages and partners.


It has become inbred in our culture that by escaping a violent marriage, seeking shelter houses, calling the police, demanding equality, we are shaming our families. In fact, we are shaming our families by accepting horrific violations of our personal sovereignty and integrity. We have been misguided to accept that certain acts are not cohesive with Kurdish culture, but the truth is, violence against women is not cohesive with Kurdish culture.


Our society is very polarized in this regard -- from those who claim that Kurdistan is backward in every regard and have little room for women -- to those who claim Kurdistan is a liberating haven for women. Neither side seems to depict the truer and more complex situation of Kurdish women. We’re still transitioning into a fully democratic society that respects the rights of women and embodies universal standards. This does not mean we accept violations of the rights of women simply because we are “transitioning,” but rather the first part of the solution is to understand the problems we are facing.


Significant numbers of Kurdish women are highly educated, and there are many who hold prestigious jobs, and many Kurdish women are independent, hardworking and successful women. However, we still have women and girls who are, similar to many countries in the world, forced into marriages or given no choice but to endure abusive marriages. The pressing question, I’m fully aware, is not about whether Kurdish women or Kurdish society is progressive, but rather about this particular case and how we should respond to it.


There is no doubt that in the coming weeks Dunya will stop making headlines. Her case, like the previous cases of two young girls murdered and thrown into a lake, or the recent case of a Syrian refugee who was raped, will be forgotten. It is important for the Kurdish government and charities to support endeavors that are specifically designed to let young girls like Dunya and other women know that there are ways to be helped. We need these women to understand that we live in a society that can protect them, that can offer them shelter houses. I understand that there are many problems with the current shelter houses, how they are shunned and mistreated in some instances, but it is still better than having your genitals severed, eyes gouged out, breasts cut off, body tied to a car and shot in the face. We can improve the services that are available, but we cannot rule them out as an option.


It deeply saddens me to write about these incidents, especially when Kurdish media outlets have shown so little respect to Dunya. Pictures of her covered in blood and her body severed by the gruesome violence inflicted on her are on every media outlet’s coverage. These pictures have gone viral on social networking sites and it sickens me that we still don’t have responsible journalism, that we still think it is appropriate to use such horrific pictures for the sake of sensationalizing the situation and turning it into a media witch hunt for more views, likes and fans. Perhaps, once we learn to respect women’s bodies, and give them their due rights, as equal to men in Kurdish society, we will forgo this horrendous practice. 
- See more at: http://rudaw.net/NewsDetails.aspx?PageID=48392#sthash.8D6h4UXw.dpufAn unnamed 45-year-old man murdered his 15-year-old wife on May 23 in the
district of Kalakji in the city of Duhok. I will spare readers no details, because it
is important for people to understand what a little girl endured at the hands of
an evil man.
For years, we have seen countless incidents of Kurdish women violently
beaten, raped, killed. And for reasons unknown to me, nothing changes with
how we approach these cases. The incident will be all over the news for a
week, maybe two weeks, if women are lucky, and then suddenly people forget
about it.
Dunya was brutally killed -- her breasts cut off, genitals cut into pieces, shot
nine times, her body tied to a car and dragged around, eyes removed. When
her body was washed for burial, the undertaker who washed her body told
Rudaw that, as she poured water over her body, she could hear the grinding of
her broken bones. Immediately following the murder, the Union of Islamic
scholars in Kurdistan demanded an investigation into the murder, and Kurdish
society once more practiced their time-contingent outrages that seem to
change like the British weather.
Following the news, a demonstration was announced on Facebook, dubbed
“Stand up for Dunya” outside the Kurdistani Parliament in Erbil -- alongside a
vigil for people to pay their respects. In an effort to make ourselves feel better -
- less responsible and more proactive – I am sure many meetings and
workshops will be arranged in the future in light of this incident. However, what
I am more concerned about is, once the media find something more interesting
to talk about, and when the Kurdish society’s moral outrage withers away, what
will happen to the countless young girls stuck in marriages, or the thousands of
Kurdish women who find no haven to escape abusive marriages and partners.
It has become inbred in our culture that by escaping a violent marriage, seeking
shelter houses, calling the police, demanding equality, we are shaming our
families. In fact, we are shaming our families by accepting horrific violations of
our personal sovereignty and integrity. We have been misguided to accept that
certain acts are not cohesive with Kurdish culture, but the truth is, violence
against women is not cohesive with Kurdish culture.
Our society is very polarized in this regard -- from those who claim that
Kurdistan is backward in every regard and have little room for women -- to
those who claim Kurdistan is a liberating haven for women. Neither side seems
to depict the truer and more complex situation of Kurdish women. We’re still
transitioning into a fully democratic society that respects the rights of women
and embodies universal standards. This does not mean we accept violations of
the rights of women simply because we are “transitioning,” but rather the first
part of the solution is to understand the problems we are facing.
Significant numbers of Kurdish women are highly educated, and there are many
who hold prestigious jobs, and many Kurdish women are independent,
hardworking and successful women. However, we still have women and girls
who are, similar to many countries in the world, forced into marriages or given
no choice but to endure abusive marriages. The pressing question, I’m fully
aware, is not about whether Kurdish women or Kurdish society is progressive,
but rather about this particular case and how we should respond to it.
There is no doubt that in the coming weeks Dunya will stop making headlines.
Her case, like the previous cases of two young girls murdered and thrown into
a lake, or the recent case of a Syrian refugee who was raped, will be forgotten.
It is important for the Kurdish government and charities to support endeavors
that are specifically designed to let young girls like Dunya and other women
know that there are ways to be helped. We need these women to understand
How Long Will We Remember Dunya?
http://rudaw

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