According to a report published by Jordan’s National Council:
83% of Jordanian women approve of wife beating if the woman cheats on her husband
60% approve of wife beating in cases where the wife burns a meal she’s cooking
52% approve of wife beating in case where she’s refused to follow the husband’s orders.
I’ve been following up this topic for quite some time and reading the comments with interest. I usually avoid commenting on topics pertaining to politics and religion, but I can’t hold my silence any more.
When I first read about this on Madas’ Journal, I was quite shocked that Mariam even published those statistics! I thought that there’s absolutely no way that such stats could have an inkling of truth in them, and false declarations should not be publicized. Yet, when I contemplated the issue, I found myself reasoning that even if the statistics claimed that 40% of Jordanian women condone wife-beating, then we really need help, and thus publicizing becomes essential.
Yet, I still find myself extremely skeptical. I am a Jordanian woman, and consequently, I consider myself a profound part of these statistics. As a part of these statistics, not only can I assure you that I find such a thing by no means acceptable, but that no one I know finds it acceptable either. It can be argued that “I” am a very small portion of Jordan, and that my opinion and that of the circle of people around me do not represent Jordan the country. Yet, when I look at the posts appearing on Jordan Planet in regards to this, I find that I am not the only “circle” that does not accept such an occurrence:
Quoting from Madas, “At first i was very outraged, thinking that this much be a flawed survey. Because if I apply this the people i know, i really dont know 60 women who want to be beaten…”
Quoting from Aquacool, “If more than 80% of Jordanian women support it, why neither I nor any one of the people I know in school, university, work, through family, neighbours or elsewhere were suffering wife-beating! Or maybe I, and the ones I know, and my friends and the people they know, and their friends and the people they know in different neighbourhoods are all within the 20% who does not support wife-beating! Maybe, why not!”
Even when you read the comments of the readers on the article posted on Al-Arabiya, you will find that a negligible portion of readers accept the statistics, and this slice of readers is not Jordanian, but rather, Arab as whole- Saudi, Kuwaiti, Egyptian, Moroccan, etc. So how can they apply to Jordan, a country, dare I say, much more tolerant than most of the other Arab countries?
I honestly believe that we Jordanian women enjoy excellent political and social status compared with that of our peers in the region. We are an essential part of the Jordanian government, the armed forces, the police force, and the judiciary system. We are offered the same opportunities for education as men; in fact, the number of female students in higher education precedes that of males by 29 percent[link: Jordan University]! Comparatively, we are allowed to vote unlike our sisters in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Heck, we can at least drive our own cars, go shopping unattended, and not only work, but also excel in any profession we choose! We have complete freedom to choose what kind of life we want to lead!
Furthermore, upon researching, I discovered that these statistics carried out by the Jordan’s National Family Council were based on research done in 2002[link: Al-Rai]. 2002. That’s 3 years ago, so why are they being publicized now? Why were the statistics ignored for three years and why are they emerging now? Why weren’t they publicized back in 2002 as obviously, the National Council agrees that this is a huge problem?
There’s also none of the accompanying data that is vital when we are talking about statistics carried out by an official council. Where exactly were the inquiries carried out? How big was the slice of the population questioned? What age groups? Under what circumstances? None of those questions are addressed in the report, which makes me even more cynical.
It’s all too mysterious, not supported with proper figures, and it defeats the first hand experience of Jordanian women.