The story is about a young woman named Salma. She grew up very sheltered in her home village where she worked a goatherd and abided by the customs. She seduces a local young man who she gets pregnant by. Her family finds out about her scandal and sets out to kill her. She is rushed into hiding, and kept in ‘protective custody’ for 5 years. Her baby daughter is born and immediately given to her family to raise. Salma escapes to England to live her life, hiding from her family who is tasked to ‘honor kill’ her.
• 80.9% of parents believe that protecting the female equates to protecting the family’s honor.
• 55% believed that a woman should be accompanied by her brother when she is outside the house.
• 66% are opposed to women having the same rights as a men of the same age with regard to being unaccompanied outside the house.
• 49% are opposed to a female child playing outside the house.• 29% say that all women should get married regardless of their
education. • Almost half of boys and one in five girls in Jordan's capital city,
Amman, believe that killing a woman who has "dishonored," or shamed, her family is justifiable.
• Salma’s homeland is never named except for referring to Jordan.
• Jordan – views on women's status vary based on the legal, traditional, cultural and religious values.
• When a society’s view on women relies on traits that tend to have a universal agreement that women are a lesser class, it leaves little to no room for women to grow on the societal ladder or gain respect.
• Interviewee - Dima Kakish• When asked about the commonality of honor killings: “My
family is Greek Orthodox, so it’s not common in our culture as it is in Muslim religions. Living in the same area, it is very common to hear about it in other families. The same thing tags along with arranged marriages – the families feel ‘shamed’ if their arrangement is not lived out and disown their child. It’s not as severe as when a woman becomes pregnant…”
• When asked about society’s view of women in Jordan: “Men in particular choose to validate and justify their own conservative, traditional, and sexist attitudes towards women by referring to tradition and religion. Society views women as a completely different social class than men. Women are raised to obey strict cultural customs such as simple daily attire. If one alters even their clothing, their family could be shamed. Not necessarily to the extremity of an honor killing, but it goes to show that one doesn’t need to get pregnant to be rejected by society. You can see that men have a much easier life in this type of society. They are not discriminated on a daily basis, nor constantly watched to see what rule could possibly be broken.”
After reading the book, listening to the interview, and plenty of research, we have been able to see a whole new world of struggle that women face. We have always been aware of hardships in other countries, but when you take the time to look into just one area of weakness, it really allows you to see how extreme (yet so common) these struggles really are. Now that we have been filled with all of this information, we really want to help in any way possible to raise the social status and respect for women in the Middle East.
• "Jordan's 'Honor' Killings Persist Despite Reform Efforts - Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East." Al-Monitor. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2014.
• "The Cry of the Dove." Goodreads. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2014.