The Perfect Gift For Jordanian Women On International Women’s Day

Of course one could spend this day by celebrating the Jordanian woman and all her accomplishments with regards to the very high level of education and economic participation. As well as the long list of freedoms enjoyed regardless of gender. A look at today’s newspapers and I can tell someone’s already got all that covered.

But at the end of the day there’s the question of gifts and men have always had trouble figuring out what a woman wants. Most of them never get tired of jewelry or shoes, but you have to think in a bit more feasible terms because this isn’t a gift for just one woman, rather half of our population.

I, unlike most men, tend to always get good gifts. I think outside the box and that’s why my gifts tend to be appreciated a bit more.

So in honor of International Women’s Day I’ve come up with a gift idea that would be appreciated by ALL Jordanian women…

One word: Legislation.

Granted: it’s not as shiny as a pair of earrings or as fashionable as a pair of stilettos or as stylish as a louis vuitton handbag but hear me out…

Wouldn’t it be something if parliament got together on this of all days to abolish article 98 that protects murderers who slaughter their female relatives to cleanse their family honor by giving them very lenient sentences?

That would be quite the gift to Jordanian women. You’d have at least an average of 30 female lives spared each year.

Or how about allowing women who marry non-Jordanians the right to pass on the Jordanian citizenship to their children?

Tougher anti-domestic violence laws?



Also Read: Hal


  • Damn it – can’t stop thinking about this, now will have to blog about it too. Sorry dude, but monkey see monkey do. 😀

  • kubayyah: i try 😉

    Hal: lol you can’t apologize for that. it’s affirmation that i’ve made someone think…

    no better present for me 😀

  • It’s depressing when you think about the unconstitutional legislation we have!! And i’m terrified of the thought that the November elections might give us more of the same if we don’t take proper strong action.

    When are you running for Parliament Nas?? I’m all ready to campaign 🙂

  • Lina: considering there has been very little political reform regarding elections since the last elections, we’re going to get the same results if not worse. tribes, conservatives and islamists. welcome to legislative heaven. also known as a reformists hell.

    as for me…seriously considering it in 10 years time 🙂

    you should be too.

  • Nas, this post has made me both happy and sad …

    I do not need to explain the sad because it is a well known fact that we need these things fixed but how long must we wait before that happens? it reminds me of what H.M. said last night!!

    Why it makes me happy?
    Because I see hope for the future in someone like you … It means so much to me and to all your female readers that you think this way and are willing to demand change and maybe in the future will do change … this means better future for our daughters so thank you

    On a side note and a sad one … I was going through the paper the other day and noticed an ad saying:

    أولاد الأردني أردنيون أينما ولدوا

    which means (for non-Arab readers): Children of Jordanian (male) are Jordanians no matter where they were born

    The first thing that came to my mind … it was not that this is actually a good thing … but I was thinking: What about Jordanian female and her children … why can’t I as a Jordanian woman enjoy the same level of rights? Don’t I deserve the same thing from a country that I love and serve like my male counterparts????

    Sad … ha?

  • Maybe next elections we (bloggers) can make a change. I certainly hope that we can affect the results of the elections. I know that it is a little change knowing the ratio of the internet penetration and the amount of people reading blogs, but yes maybe we can trigger something and raise our voices to make some changes.

    I wish those parliament members are listening to you. It would be one hell of a present.

    But as khalida said, I do have much hope. Those law will be changed in no time, inshallah.

  • Nas, thanks for this. It will be men like you that give us voice.

    Where can I sign up to campaign for the election of you and Lina?? Rah-rah! No wTHAT is something to CHEER about!

  • As salaam alaikum,

    I am a Canadian Muslim writer of short fiction, poetry and ‘daily news commentary’. Come by inshallah for a quick read when you have 59 seconds or so.

    Wa salaama,

    nuh ibn

  • Khalidah: indeed!

    The Observer: I would say “in time” rather than “in no time”, just for good measure.

    kinzi: lol thanks. all in good time 😀

  • Regarding honor crimes:

    it’s not article 98 that needs to be abolished; such article exists in many modern countries’ laws where a person committing a crime “in a fit of fury” gets a reduced sentence. The real problem, in my opinion, lies in the judges themselves that reduce the penalties too much and even do it in all the wrong cases and for all the wrong reasons.

    Often the focus is put on the parliament that makes the legislation, but the legislation is satisfactory as it is (except for the discriminatory clauses in article 340 which must be eliminated). I hope people understand that the chances of successfully removing article 98 from the law are slim to none and we can almost certainly decide today that pursuing that goal is neither necessarily the right thing to do nor something that the end value of justifies the amount of effort it takes to achieve it.

    The real goal should be to change the sentences judges give to these criminals. Today, there is no judge in Jordan that would be willing to sentence the killer in an honor crime to death or life in prison. If such sentence is delivered by a judge today, he will be subjected to endless threats by the family of the criminal, who happen to be the family of the victim herself too. A family that chooses to kill its own daughter will not hesitate to find someone from within it to kill a judge or harm him or one of his family members.

  • hamzeh, basically you’ve shifted the argument from abandoning the change of legislation as it being an impossible fight…and relying instead on changing attitudes of judicial discretion.

    the latter of course being much worse and much more harder to change.

    and don’t forget, article 98, while describing those who kill in a ‘fit of fury’ is usually only applied alongside article 340 which states that men will receive reduced penalties should they discover their female relatives committing an unlawful act, chiefly adultery.

    so no, i dont think such articles exist in most countries. and if in the hypothetical situation they did exist in every country: they shouldn’t.

  • Nas, article 98 is not usually only applied alongside article 340, which only applies if a person walks on the victim during the act and kills/harms them right then and there whereas a “fit of fury” can happen after the act. Article 340 actually only applied once in the entire history of the country in one case [source].

    Regarding the existence of an article 98 equivalent in other countries’ laws, I was relying on the words of Abdel Latif Arabiyyat in an answer to a question about this on Islam Online. In particular, he pointed the finger towards French law while stating that other countries adopted similar laws as well. I looked now and it seems that the French law (regarding “crimes of passion”) was abandoned in the 70s and the only case where it still exists today that I could find, according to wikipedia, is in the Swiss law where the law is called Totschlag and is the equivalent of manslaughter, but supposedly encompasses crimes of passion.

    So you might be right; abolishing article 98 might not be as hard a goal to achieve as I said it is.

    But my main point is that even with article 98 the performance of the judges is the direct reason the criminals get away. In most these cases the crimes are not committed in a fit of fury and it is more than obvious, yet the judges still insist on letting the criminals and their families get away with their crimes and they give the most lenient of sentences.

    Having said that, a change in legislation to remove article 98 will prevent judges from doing that.

    Regarding article 340, legislators will defend that it’s based on Islamic tradition because of an incident that happened during Omar Al Khattab’s rule where a man killed his wife and the man she was having sex with. However, the article discriminates between men and women in that it only gives the woman the reduced sentence if she walked on her husband with another woman in her house, which clearly is saying that men can cheat on their wives if they do it outside the home, which is the natural selection anyone would make if they ever decided to cheat. If article 340 is to stay, the discrimination needs to be removed.

  • YES, regarding the issue of Jordanian women being able to pass the nationality to their children, I have ALOT to say about that!! Because I spent last summer running from place to place TRYING to renew my Jordanian passport and ended up getting it replaced with a temporary Jordanian passport…why??? Because the officials found out my dad is Palestinian and that he doesn’t have a national number, therefore I don’t get it, even thought my mother has it…I was furious and mostly incensed because they made it seem like an insult to have a Palestinian father..”Sorry, can’t do much for you, your father is Palestinian!”..Not to mention the chauvinistic attitude many of them had, suggesting things like ‘Why don’t you marry a Jordanian, you can get the passport then!’..I wanted to flip the desk over at so many men working in whatever the place is called ‘idarat al mutaba3a wal tafteesh’ or whatever..Honestly, I never felt so humiliated in my life..

    Your gifts seem fabulous if only they could be realized…thanks for the thought, though :))

  • A nice thought, thou not sure rights can be gifts 😉

    I also though I might as well chip in my 2 cents worth on the other two issues under discussion.

    -Honor Crimes: there is a lot of truth in what you and Hamzeh N are saying, the reality is that neither 340 nor 98 is extremely controversial if the context of honor crimes is taken out, a tough ask but bear with me. The issue as you eluded to is one of implementation, but this has multiple levels
    Firstly sentencing guidelines, enforcing of these sentencing guidelines and last but not least victim and crown (state) rights. And the crux of the matter with the latter is that a family dropping its rights should have no were near the significance it has now, and arguably none if they have any links to both proprietor and victim.
    My view is that it’s the implementation which should be attacked, addressed and for two reasons I think you are likely to have more success and less pathetically theoretical answers, secondly it has to be addressed even if you change the law as this on its own would achieve nothing. So, how do you get any of this done and pardon my French in advance, what needs to happen is some people need to grow some balls and leave the parliament behind if necessary, it is actually constitutionally possible without boring you with the details, they can have their law, just correct how it has been misused.

    -Nationality for Children of Jordanian women: same deal as above someone should grow balls again, I say whoever is in charge (or anyone senior enough) at ala7wal im madnyeh, Jawazat should go on TV and put an add in the paper saying any Jordanian woman with kids who would like a passport for them to pop in to his office, and promptly issue them with a passport I would like to see who would stop him. I have actually known this to happen thou not on a national scale sadly,, maybe not all na7’wah is bad after all!

Your Two Piasters: