by Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian

Despite the criminalization of abuses inflicted upon women, laws are still considered major sources of women’s oppression. This article discusses how Palestinian society and its criminal justice system, during a politically formative period of state building, relates to “femicide,” Femicide in this study pertains to the murder of girls or women for allegedly committing “crimes  of family honor.” Official statistics, Cassation Court rulings, and six documented  cases were analyzed in depth to determine the role played by the penal code, the legal system, and the external sociocultural context in exonerating the perpetrator of femicide and placing the placing placing the victim on trial. The data reflects a silent masculine conspiracy that empower sexist and gender-biased legal policies. The article concludes by challenging Palestinian legislators to fight legal discrimination against women. It argues that state-building periods can be a “window of hope,” offering societies such as Palestine’s the unique opportunity to reexamine and reconstruct their laws from a gender-sensitive position.