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NO REDRESS? INVESTIGATING WIFE ABUSE THROUGH THE LENS OF FEMINIST THEORY AND RESOURCE THEORY IN JORDAN

Atiyat, Reem (2015) NO REDRESS? INVESTIGATING WIFE ABUSE THROUGH THE LENS OF FEMINIST THEORY AND RESOURCE THEORY IN JORDAN. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

Abstract This research investigates wife abuse in Jordan. Several studies have been conducted on this phenomenon in Jordanian culture. Yet, the effect of particular nushuz-related aspects of the law, as promoting specific forms of violence, on women’s experiencing wife abuse, the effect of family intervention on women’s reporting wife abuse, in addition to the effect of Muslim clerics’ assistance on women’s reporting wife abuse are aspects of wife abuse that have not been addressed. In dealing with these issues, I draw on resource theory, feminist theory, and the empirical data I gathered from interviewing Jordanian abused women and lawyers specialized in wife abuse issues in Jordan in 2012. Empirically, a qualitative approach was utilized to explore the reported experiences of the women. This included semi-structured interviews, in a few cases questionnaires and legal records I accessed after contacting lawyers specialized in resolving wife abuse-related issues in Jordan. Interviews are rarely conducted in Jordan because wife abuse victims are hard to reach and because interviewing is regarded as intruding into the personal sphere which is protected by law. I address four key issues in my thesis: a) the forms of wife abuse that were reported by my research participants; b) the cultural acceptability of wife abuse in the light of the participating abused women’s parents’ intervention to stop this phenomenon; c) the legitimizing of wife abuse in Islam and the role that Muslim clergy play in combating wife abuse as reported by my research participants; and d) the role of lawyers in assisting the women who took part in my research. Physical violence was the most reported form of wife abuse among my participants in Jordan. The second most reported form of wife abuse was verbal abuse, emotional abuse the third, and financial abuse the least reported. I highlight a particular form of wife abuse that is not often investigated in western and non-western research on wife abuse which is in-law-perpetrated violence. I also argue that consulting religious clerics is not an effective measure to stop wife abuse. After exploring the effects of the predominant patriarchal cultural values in Jordanian society that legitimize and maintain wife abuse, I argue that the Islamic values that prohibit wife abuse must be reinforced by legislation that criminalizes wife abuse and penalizes its perpetrators. Finally, this research stresses the necessity to modify the provisions of the Jordanian Law of Personal Status as the ambiguity of its provisions caused some of my research participants to experience law-enforced abuse.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Centre for Women's Studies (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.669634
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email rbaa500@york.ac.uk
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2015 11:12
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2016 13:33
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10524

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