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Honourable Traditions? Honour Violence, Early Marriage and Sexual Abuse of Teenage Girls in Lebanon, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Yemen

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Girls in the Middle East are often exposed to serious violations of their rights as set out in the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child; these violations are particularly evident in the field of gender-based sexual discrimination and violence. The project described in this article attempts to produce a situation analysis of the exposure to sexual violence of girls aged 12-18 in three countries: Lebanon, The Occupied Palestinian Territories (the OPT) and Yemen. The article focuses on three particular types of gender-based sexual violence against teenage girls, namely honour violence, early marriages, and sexual abuse. The methods applied in the research were Focus Groups Discussions (FGDs) with about 8-12 participants in each FGD. In addition to the FGDs, life stories were also collected. The project emphasised the experiences and opinions of girls regarding the three types of sexual violence listed above. 384 teenagers participated in FGDs to express their views and experiences on sexual violence and more than thirty life stories were collected. The article explores how honour violence, early marriages, and sexual abuse are violations of the CRC and analyses the particular cultural mechanisms that underlie this gender-based sexual violence in the Middle East.

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Health and Society, Malmo University, Sweden


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