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PA TV program discusses violence against women in Palestinian society

Official PA TV program Palestine This Morning, on violence against women in Palestinian society, hosting statistician Shireen Abedin

Statistician Shireen Abedin: "The topic [of violence against women] is very important, and it is really very painful when someone sees before him the girls of his society agreeing to be subjected to blows, humiliation, physical and verbal violence – every form that you can imagine – and the question is why they are silent. The way I see- when we raised the program’s topic, we were in a situation in which a young woman who had completed university and also worked - and afterwards she married and then her husband would beat her vigorously, possibly with a belt, possibly with the punishment of forbidding her to sleep all night. She can stand on one foot for two or three hours. Truthfully, when I hear such a story from a girl who tells me what is going on with her, I began to think what brought us to this place? What causes a young woman- regardless of whether she is educated or not, she is a human being. Women are human beings; they have dignity."

Official PA TV host: "Of course. These examples that you have raised – there may be many examples."

Shireen Abedin: "Exactly. And the question is why we enable – and why do I say 'we enable,' because she did not enable this alone. I am afraid that this is a cultural foundation among us. In other words, if we go back to the mother and father, when the mother decides to hit her daughter or her son, she certainly does not think what this will do [to the] principles and perception of the child. Will a small child who was beaten allow himself to be beaten when he grows up? The answer is yes. If I see my father who loves me hit me when I am small, then my husband who loves me when I grow up – why shouldn't he hit me? My first message here is – and I say it with all my might – I call on every mother and father in the home, the use of blows- it is true that the goal is very good and I want to educate my son, but blows do not educate children, on the contrary – they turn them to more violence, because every [child] beaten in the home will go and hit outside the home. In addition, it educates [a child] to perceive that it is okay for my body to be humiliated, that it is okay for it to be despised, that it is okay for it to be beaten, even if it comes from the people who are dearest to me, even if it comes from the people who love me. Accordingly, the boy grows and becomes- or the girl becomes a woman and sees that if her husband beats her she needs to be silent. This is one of the reasons. There can be additional reasons, such as for example that the mother will calm her daughter [and say to her] 'Never mind,' ‘A woman needs to listen to her husband,' 'Never mind, tomorrow he will change,' and all of these things. ‘Pamper him and do what he wants, organize yourself and your house, and cook for him – and you will see that it will be good for you.'"

Host: "Mrs. Shireen, I and Ala' discussed these things a while ago – that they are the shot of anesthesia that might be adding to the violence, because a person who acts violently – if there is no one who will prevent him from doing this or contend with him, he will continue [to be violent]."

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