Razan Khatib's commentary on life on/off the web

over 18 female in Jordan?…sorry you are half an adult!

I was shocked and scared the other day when a friend of mine told me that a 25 year old woman who was hanging out with friends at Books@Cafe; was forced against her will by the police to go back to her parents place which it seems she fled few weeks ago!

Seemingly, if you are a woman in Jordan, your father OWNS you until he transfers the ownership to your future husband. Care to have a life of your own? Nope. You are not an adult, there will always be some male in your family responsible for you. No sorry, if you kill someone, steal something you still will go to Jail, your male family friend can’t be responsible about those actions.


We don’t know anything about the girl in question, only that against all tries of the owners of the cafe, the police still took her while she was screaming and saying “I don’t want to live with you” to her family. Destination of course is a hospital to check her virginity. Failed attempts to check if they killed her or not. As it seems there is nothing anyone can do.

SAD SAD people are Jordanians, me included. Here I am a 33 year old, a career woman, a business owner but no, according to the Jordanian law, i have to have, “waly amer” to control my life. Where was my “waly amer” when I registered my company? or applied for a new passport? What the hell is this?


7 Comments so far

  1. 7aki Fadi on January 25th, 2008

    This is REALLY appalling.

    So a question, if you are married and then get a divorce do you get retransferred to your father or brother? or if you have a son then he owns you?

    I HATE THIS. Makes me ANGRY.

    By the way, LOVE your blog :D .

  2. kinziblogs on January 25th, 2008

    There are dozens of female runaways from outlying areas of Jordan around Garden Street. They’ve escaped abusive families (I mean severe, not a slap now and then) and live on the run, going from job to job and apartment to apartment hoping they won’t be seen by a distant relative and get caught. And go straight to jail, back to home whee rape is a lifestyle, or just be killed

    They are fugitives whose only crime is running away from crimes committed by their families.

    I too, love your blog. :)

  3. Razan Khatib on January 25th, 2008

    Of course, father first, then brother or uncle, husband then back to father/brother/uncle.

    I hate it too, and I think there is no way we will become a modern nation with all those stupid laws intact.

    Abusive or not abusive, at 25 and still be family bound is just damn pathetic.

    Thank you 7aki Fadi and kinziblogs for liking my blog :D

  4. shalabieh on January 26th, 2008

    Hmmm I know that in marriage after a woman divorces she doesnt need one a wali amer for marriage again. the first time she marries and the first time she divorces are the only time she needs a wali. Otherwise She by law is her own agent.

    Yes this is stupid but that is what I know the case is. \

    As for the girl I think more awarness needs to be made about the family protection unit, if she is being abused then that is the place to turn to. Or even for her to call the hotline for abused women run by the jordanian union.

    Finally I think your out rage should be directed at society not at the law only. A lot of these issues relate to how society views women and deals with them at a cultural level.

    I do think its an outrage and I do think that as adults we have the right to self determination. More women need to break the cultural norms so that self determination becomes the cultural norm.

  5. Amino on February 14th, 2008

    So I guess that cancels my moving out plan? Are police entitled to drag you bag home by law?

  6. Razan Khatib on February 16th, 2008

    Your “waly amer” has control over you if you are female and the police help him to bring you home if he wants to! Also, he can stop you from leaving the country as well. I am telling you, woman are not considered adults here :(

  7. Amino on February 16th, 2008

    This is total bullshit. I was totally relying on the fact that there’s nothing in the law that dictates such a thing, but obviously the country’s still acting as if we’re in this big tribe. It’s sick, can’t they just leave women alone to lead independent lives!

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