A PhD candidate at The University of Western Australia who is researching ‘honour killings' in her native Jordan and in Pakistan has won the annual UWA Grace Vaughan Award.
Carol Kaplanian, of Maylands, is collecting data through interviews with judges, lawyers, doctors, parliamentarians, Islamic clergy, human rights activists and journalists.
She is also examining court files, parliamentary debates and media coverage in Arabic and English-language newspapers in Jordan over the past 20 years.
"My research is exploring the legal and social context in which a man who kills can face a maximum prison term of perhaps three or four years," she said.
"So I have been speaking to people in Jordan involved in social policy and the law, along with doctors and forensic experts who deal with these incredibly brutal killings that are fuelled by tradition and culture."
Ms Kaplanian's study has also enabled her to meet women working to raise awareness of the issue - a taboo subject in the Middle East until recently.
The $2500 award commemorates the late Grace Vaughan, a social worker, activist and parliamentarian who was dedicated to the improvement of life at all levels and had a deep commitment to Australia's participation in the Asian region and to ensuring women's full participation in society.
Ms Kaplanian will use the award to travel to Pakistan for research.