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PATRIARCHY IS KILLING US

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A brief review of the article from Oslobođenje

Punishments for brutal murders of women in Bosnia and Herzegovina are too lenient, which repeatedly repeats discrimination against vulnerable members of society.

  • A bright August day in Bosnia and Herzegovina suddenly turned dark when a live post on Instagram revealed a woman, beaten and bloody, sitting on the edge of a wooden bench. Moments later, a man with a blood splattered face appeared on the screen, holding a gun. A gunshot rang out…followed by the haunting cry of a child.
  • In Gradačac, the world witnessed a monstrous act as a woman was killed before our eyes. Just a few days earlier, she reported her partner for violence and ran away with the child. Despite her plea, the judge denied her a restraining order. She went into hiding, but he relentlessly searched for her, intent on ending her life – a person long known to the police.
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Two months after the tragedy, authorities claimed to be following protocol, but the system failed. We are all complicit. While the blame lies with individuals, the responsibility is collective.

The disparity between the punishments and the severity of femicide underscores why a number of NGOs are pushing for its classification as a separate crime – a recognition that justice must reflect the depth of suffering and the gravity of the act.

The Minister of Justice of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Vedran Škobić, explained in an interview for Oslobođenje that femicide is the killing of the victim, a woman, out of hatred.

“Whoever knows the Criminal Code of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina knows that this wording exists. It is Article 166, which specifies murder out of hatred. A further definition of hate murder implies that someone is killed because he is a man, because she is a woman, because he/she is a member of a different nationality, of a different sexual orientation, religion… All these characteristics of hate murder include the killing of a woman because she is a woman. And that is femicide, for which a penalty of 10 years to long-term imprisonment is prescribed,” said Škobić.

When it comes to femicide and the idea of femicide, emphasized Škobić, the position of the profession is clear – it has no place in our law, because it already exists, and especially formulating it and making a law is frivolous.

However, the strong resistance to the inclusion of the term “femicide” in the legislation highlights a fundamental failure to acknowledge, or deliberate avoidance of the core issue. This resistance further emphasizes the patriarchal and misogynistic context in which it operates. The very definition of “femicide” serves to highlight the environment in which such crimes occur. Consequently, women’s associations are advocating for reforms in criminal legislation. In the latest Alternative CEDAW Report (Report of Civil Society Organizations on the Implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in BiH 2019-2023) it is noted that the current criminal laws do not recognize victims as individuals and only recognize them as victims of criminal acts. Moreover, they do not deal with gender-based murders of women, “femicide” as Professor Ždralović explained.

Patriarchy, an entrenched social system where men hold primary power and dominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege, and control of property, continues to exert its influence in modern society. Despite progress towards gender equality, the pervasive legacy of patriarchy persists, shaping our institutions, relationships, and individual lives. This article delves into the multifaceted impacts of patriarchy in the contemporary world and the ongoing struggles to dismantle its structures.

Historical Roots and Evolution

The roots of patriarchy stretch deep into history, intertwined with the rise of civilizations and the consolidation of power structures. From ancient times to the present, patriarchal ideologies have justified male dominance and subordination of women, relegating them to subordinate roles in the family, economy, and public sphere. Over centuries, patriarchy has adapted and transformed, manifesting in subtle and overt forms, perpetuating gender inequalities and hierarchies.

Economic Implications

One of the enduring effects of patriarchy is its influence on economic systems, where gender disparities persist in wages, employment opportunities, and access to resources. Women are often relegated to lower-paying jobs, face glass ceilings in career advancement, and bear the burden of unpaid care work. Patriarchal norms shape labor markets and economic policies, reinforcing gender divisions and perpetuating economic injustice.

Social and Cultural Dynamics

Patriarchy permeates social and cultural dynamics, dictating norms, expectations, and behaviors. Gender roles and stereotypes are deeply ingrained, constraining individuals’ expression and limiting their potential. Women are frequently subjected to objectification, harassment, and violence, perpetuated by patriarchal attitudes that normalize male entitlement and control. Moreover, patriarchal norms prescribe rigid binaries of masculinity and femininity, marginalizing those who do not conform and perpetuating harmful gender norms.

Political and Legal Systems

In the realm of politics and law, patriarchy influences power structures and decision-making processes. Women remain underrepresented in positions of political leadership and face systemic barriers to participation and representation. Patriarchal ideologies shape legislative agendas, often neglecting issues affecting women’s rights and perpetuating discriminatory policies. Moreover, legal systems may fail to provide adequate protection and redress for gender-based violence, reflecting and reinforcing patriarchal biases.

Psychological and Emotional Impact

Beyond its structural manifestations, patriarchy exerts a profound psychological and emotional impact on individuals. Internalized patriarchal beliefs can lead to self-doubt, low self-esteem, and internalized sexism, sustaining cycles of oppression. Women may experience gaslighting, emotional abuse, and trauma as they navigate patriarchal systems that invalidate their experiences and undermine their autonomy. Similarly, men may suffer from rigid gender expectations, suppressing emotions and maintaining toxic masculinity.

Despite the formidable challenges posed by patriarchy, resistance and activism continue to challenge its hegemony and envision alternative futures. Feminist movements worldwide have mobilized to dismantle patriarchal structures, advocating for gender equality, reproductive rights, and social justice. Grassroots organizing, intersectional activism, and advocacy efforts have sparked important gains in challenging patriarchal norms and advancing gender equality. However, the struggle against patriarchy remains ongoing, requiring sustained collective action and systemic change.
Patriarchy’s enduring influence continues to shape our world, sustaining gender inequalities and injustices. From economic disparities to social norms, political systems to personal relationships, its impacts are profound and far-reaching. Yet, amidst these challenges, there is hope in the resilience and resistance of feminist movements and activists striving for a more just and equitable world. By confronting patriarchy head-on, we can create spaces for diverse voices, challenge oppressive systems, and build towards a future where gender equality is not just a dream but a reality.

Source: https://www.oslobodjenje.ba/dosjei/teme/ubija-nas-patrijarhat-936912

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