Williams: Women’s Rights Are Human Rights

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A woman holds a Women's Rights are Human Rights sign during Women's March on the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City, Utah on Monday Jan. 23, 2017. (Rishi Deka, Daily Utah Chronicle)

What’s worse than a being sexually assaulted? Being forced to marry the perpetrator in order for their charges to be dropped.

Sounds completely twisted and insane right? This is not uncommon in parts of the world.

Some countries have laws stating that if a rapist marries their victim, all of their charges will be dropped because this is a “part of the institution of marriage.”

Women, being the most susceptible to rape, lose their basic human rights, their control of their destiny as well as their satisfaction to serve justice to their predator. They have absolutely no control in this situation. No power. No justice. This needs to change.

“While the legal system allows rapists to find immunity, many women also feel pressure from their families to marry the men who abused them,” stated Samantha Raphelson, a writer for NPR.

More often than not the woman’s family forces her to marry the man because of the unwillingness to go through the court process. The woman’s family is afraid of the embarrassment.

A 16-year-old girl in Moscow killed herself under the pressure to get married to the man who sexually assaulted her. This eventually prompted the law to be changed in 2014, but only in Moscow. It is extremely saddening that it had to cost a young girls life in order for the law to be modified.

There is also a practice called the “rape-revenge”. This occurs when a young girl is raped by a boy or a man, and the brother of the victim is allowed and sometimes forced to rape the predator’s sister.

“The panchayat that ordered the rape is led by influential landlords who settle disputes according to tribal customs that predate Islam. … the family of [a] 12-year-old girl [who was raped] appear to deeply adhere to the rules of tribal justice,” said Diaa Hadid, a writer for NPR.

This is a practice of the panchayat rulings to ensure that both families are equally “dishonored” by their daughters. Documentaries and books have been made about these instances in hopes that the practice can come to a complete halt.

People need to be educated on how to properly treat humans. Women need to be treated equally all around the world and the mistreatment needs to come to an end.

It’s 2017, why hasn’t the world come to its senses yet? It’s not so much a matter of time and place, but more so a matter of how and why this violence continues.

People need to be educated on these horrific acts in order to realize what is actually going on in the world to find solutions to stop these crimes.

letters@chronicle.utah.edu

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