Honour Killing Women | Cultural Studies Dissertations

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What is honour killing?

Every year, hundereds of women are killed in the name of honour by their family members because they have brought shame to the family and the community.

Honour killing is defined murdering a member of the family in the name of honour, it is usually the female who is murdered for bringing shame to the family. In rare cases, men are also murdered if they bring dishonour to their family or community.

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It is believed that honour killing is a private family affair and it should remain between the four walls of the house, no accurate statistics are available on this social evil. It should be noted that honour killing is a gender-neutral concept but overwhelming majority victims are women.

The only fundamental difference is that the male accussed of dishonouring might be given a chance to explain his situation before the triabl leaders and can escape the death penalty by giving compensation to the family who has been ‘dishonoured’. Women are rarely given oppurtunaties to explain their side of the story and the only possible way to restore the honour is by killing the women who has brought shame to the family.

Where does it take place?

Pakistan consists of four provinces known as Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab and North West Frontier Province(NWFP). The menance known as honour killing frequently all four provinces of Pakistan. In Sindh, the practise of honour killing is known as “Karo Kari”, meaning ‘black female’ and ‘black male’. In Balochistan it is known Siahkal. The majority of the honour killings take place in rural areas, however, there have been some reported incidents of honour killings in urban cities of Pakistan such as Karachi and Lahore.

How can one be dishonoured?

Honour killings for a choosing a marriage partner

According to the article 16 of Universal Declaration of human rights, both men and women of full age, irrespective race, religion and nationality can enter into marriage with any partner of their choice. It is our fundamental to marry a partner of our choice, however in Pakistan, women are not encouraged to have this right because women are seen as personal property of a man, therefore women should exercise their right.

Women are seen as commodity owned and controlled by their fathers, husbands and brothers. Women are not suppose to express any desires and feelings contrary to the wishes of their fathers, husbands, and brothers.

Traiditionally women are not allowed to choose their partners for marriage. The head of the family, usually the father, chooses the groom. the bride does not have any say in the process and any defiance against the process is considered a taboo.

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