Women From Middle East and Asylum in America

Posted by Ramona Kennedy | Oct 11, 2018 | 0 Comments

For a “Muslim Woman” living in a Muslim nation, having her basic human rights violated is the norm. This is because “Muslim Women” have very few rights in these countries, if any at all. Many “Muslim Women” do not have the right to choose who they marry, have difficulty obtaining an education, and can be killed for having either pre-martial sexual relations or extramarital relationships. Furthermore, many of the Muslim nations choose to follow Shariah Law, which sets out the rights given to women (unequally) in the Quran.

For an “Afghan women” (woman living in Afghanistan), the fear of fleeing from their families is very real because of the punishment that comes with this crime, and yes, it is a crime for an “Afghan woman” to flee from her family. The “Afghan woman” may be fleeing in order to escape from an abusive marriage, or to escape from a forced marriage. Although the government has tried to loosen the punishment for these women by attempting to pass a law called the Elimination of Violence Against Women law, many in parliament appose these changes and wish to keep the old punishments in place.

For a “Palestinian Women” (woman living in Palestine) the fear of being murdered through “honor killing” is very real. “Honor killing” is when a woman is killed for a number of reasons including having an extramarital affair. Worst yet, the woman does not have to be “guilty of the crime”. The mere suspicion of being unfaithful is enough to warrant a sentence of death. Furthermore, the “Palestinian woman” is not even allowed to choose who she marries. In many cases the male “guardian” to the woman chooses her spouse and even negotiates the wedding contract. The men on the other hand are given all the freedom to choose who they take as a wife.

For “Turkish women” (women living in Turkey), the inequality between men and women is large. In many cases it is difficult for women to obtain education, employment, and even get treatment for reproductive health. Furthermore, there is still a large number of deaths reported due to domestic violence and “honor killings”.

For a “Saudi Woman” (woman living in Saudi Arabia), the rights she is given are almost nonexistent. There is little a “Saudi Woman” can do without the consent of a “male guardian”. This includes obtaining work, obtaining healthcare, renting an apartment, or even travelling. On top of the, the “male guardian” may even be the son of the woman. Therefore the “Saudi Mother” may require permission from her son in order to do some of the basic things allowed in public. Failure to follow these rules could lead to serious punishments including prison sentences or worse.

“Honor Killing” remains a serious concern in Pakistan. A “Pakistani woman” (woman living in Pakistan) who has been accused of having an extramarital affair may face being killed by a man, often the spouse. Worse yet, although “honor killing” is against the law, it is rarely enforced since the family of the victim is allowed to pardon the killer, who is himself often a member of the family.

Married women in Kuwait have little protection by the law when it comes to domestic violence. A “Kuwaiti woman” (woman living in Kuwait) can be beaten and raped without any real consequence to their spouse because these crimes are not against the law in Kuwait.

In Azerbaijan, forced prostitution is a serious concern for many “Azur women” (woman living in Azerbaijan). This crime is made more horrendous when you take into consideration that a few to many of the prostitution houses are allegedly run by high ranking government officials

Discrimination in Persian Gulf Countries

For an “Iranian Woman” (“ Persian Woman” ), woman living in Iran, if she were to marry a foreign-born man and have children with him, her children would not be recognized as Iranian.  It gets worse, it is legal for an “Iranian girl (Persian girl) girl”  living in Iran to be forced to marry as early as her 13 th birthday.

Discrimination is something that a “Bahraini Woman” (woman living in Bahrain) faces every day in Bahrain. There are no rules or laws that prevent discrimination on “the grounds of gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation”.

For a “Woman living in Yemen” (Yemeni Woman), facing daily discrimination is an everyday occurrence. Compact the discrimination she faces, whether it's being unable to marry who they wish, obtain a divorce to escape a violent marriage, or even obtain child custody if the male does grant her the divorce. Worse yet, the government of Yemen is unwilling to do anything to pass laws to protect its women.

For a married “woman living in the United Arab Emirates”, marriage may seem like a form of enslavement. A woman is unable to choose who she marries, is unable to obtain a divorce without court approval, and worst of all a woman must obey her husband. That includes having sexual relations with him almost anytime he wants.

A “Qatari Woman” (woman living in Qatar), living in Qatar is supposed to be an obedient woman. She has few protections under Qatari law. She must marry who she is told to marry, obey her husband, and obtaining a divorce is very difficult.  Under Qatari law, a woman who is rape and reports it is guilty of extramarital sex and depending on her marital situation she may be sentenced to prison or death.

According to Jordanian law, if a Muslim “Jordanian Woman” (woman living in Jordan) marries a non-Muslim man, the government will not recognize the marriage. Worse yet, if the married couple has children, the “Jordanian woman” cannot pass her nationality to her children.

Human trafficking is a real fear that many “Lebanese women and girls” (women living in Lebanon) face in Lebanon. This is because although the practice of human trafficking is illegal, the government either through incompetence or indifference does not coordinate investigations to help prevent it.

In Oman, there are no crimes against domestic violence or marital rape. This makes it difficult for “Omani Women” (woman living in Oman) to report these crimes since the only crime they would be able to bring forward is simple battery or assault charges.

For an “Egyptian Woman” (woman living in Egypt) that is abused both physically or verbally, the government in a way blames the “Egyptian Woman” being abused. They have come out and told women to be careful how they act in public, urging “women to avoid talking or laughing loudly in public and to be cautious about how they dress to avoid street harassment.”

A “Libyan Woman” (woman living in Libya) is offered little protection from the Libyan government. A man may be given a reduced sentence if he believes his wife is cheating on him and he kills her for it. Furthermore, A male rapist of a woman can escape punishment if he marries his victim.

For an “Algerian Woman” (woman living in Algeria), the law has given them many protections and on paper has made a lot of steps for gender equality. In reality however, things are different such as the police doing their job in investigating crimes against “Algerian Women” cause by male relatives and spouses.

Former Soviet Union Blocks

Domestic violence is something that many “Kyrgyzstani Women” (women living in Kyrgyzstan) face constantly. This is because although there are laws prohibiting domestic violence, the police do not enforce these crimes often and hence few cases are heard in the courts.

In Tajikistan, it is left to the married “Tajikistani woman” (woman living in Tajikistan) to gather evidence when it comes to domestic violence and marital rape. This makes it difficult for the courts to hear these crimes since the police rarely get involved, leaving women to have to just put up with the violence.

Unique to Kazakhstan is the practice of bride kidnapping. This is when a “Kazakhstani woman” (woman living in Kazakhstan) is kidnapped and forced into marriage by a man without her consent. Often after the marriage/ kidnapping the male gives some amount of money to the wives' family to escape conviction.

This is an immigration legal blog. It is not intended to be used as legal advise. For further information please contact the law offices of attorney Ramona Kennedy.

Ramona Kennedy (Attorney) received her Jurisprudence Doctorate in America and is a licensed attorney in California (USA). Ramona Kennedy is a member of American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Ramona Kennedy is fluent in English and Farsi (reading & writing) & speaks Azeri Turkish.

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About the Author

Ramona Kennedy

Attorney Ramona Kennedy is a Compassionate attorney who cares and will fight for you A vivid reader, attorney Kennedy was inspired by her father who passionately attributed to her academic & personal growth. Her Father was a very kind, highly intelligent, disciplined & dedicated family man in un...


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