After the cancellation of clause 308 from Jordan’s Penal Code and after the amendment to clause 98 of the same law I can say that you are welcome to the year 3000 BC. At that time society, according to history, respected women as equal partner in citizenship, a mother, a female that it is a crime to attack her as she is the idol of society. This stems from the fact that women were seen then as the giver of life, the sustainer of a fertile land and the guarantor of the continuation of human kind.
Women’s place and her advanced set of rights back then are now covered with careless times covered by modern laws that have produced strange inheritances such as clause 308 of the Penal Code of Jordan. This clause has for years provided men with an escape clause so long as he marries the woman he raped. The law provided this waiver from punishment as long as the rapists marries his raped victim. This was always a strange situation and a source of scorn. It seems near impossible for a man who wants to marry a woman and spend his life with her to rape her first?
This clause has been deleted from the penal code and clause 98 no longerallows for a reduced sentence to those who kill under the justification of ‘honor.’ This important legislative change still needs social and legal protection. Violence against women in our society is still going on and in various formats. It takes various social justifications, the most basic form of which is the daily harassment against women.
In this area there are many attempts to lay the blame on the women if she is the victim of any kind of harassment whether verbal of physical and whether it is made in a public or private setting. Religious leaders are constantly calling on women to cover up and calling on men to ensure that she is covered because she is the awra (uncovered) by nature and therefore must be covered. They says she is like the representative of Satan in society attracting evil if she is dressed freely as they see it.
This is merely one of the social justification which established that men in society must be the safeguards and the guardian on women while at the same time watching out from her. This has shifted the role of women from an irreplaceable partner in society to an enemy that can be harassed if they try to practice their own options. It is also a specie that can be defeated and blamed if they complain despite the fact that the absence of their rights and the building of a strange relationship between the two genders on the basis of bad intentions that is coated with sacred justifications.
Other justifications has been carried on after a long history of religious partisanship and historic attempts at demeaning women. The recent so called political Islamic awakening since the beginning of the last century have used the idea of the covering of the women and guardianship over her a symbol of their political ambitions and programs that are being presented as an alternative to all human models or long experiences that have are more realistic and human.
All this should lead us to the need to remove all legal protection towards incitements against women in the public sphere. And in this regard it makes no difference whether the law defends the women or takes away some of her rights in both cases we can’t have a fair situation until we can look at society’s two sectors women and men as equal and complimentary parts to a single society.
Any society that provides for a woman her natural rights is attempting to overcome other laws that are unjust to her. This is what I hope that the law which changes the age of marriages and the amendments of clause 98 and the cancellation of clause 308 can do.