The oxymoron “honor killing” has inundated Eastern news, and its significance has unfortunately been ignored. Honor is about respect and moral uprightness In contrast, killing is associated with death, a violation of human rights and a heinous crime. Alas, the two words put together end up meaning cold-blooded murder. In many Eastern cultures, honor is a central value. Families are distinguished or noted among the community depending on how honorable their family is. There is disproportionate pressure on women to comply with a certain code of behaviour. It usually consists of: dressing modestly, not interacting with men outside of their immediate family, and staying an untouched virgin until she marries the man hand-picked by her family. Failing to comply with the norms set by society means staining and dishonouring the reputation of her family. When females damage the family reputation in many Eastern cultures, the men of the family respond by taking their life. This convention is not seen as a crime in many Asian countries, in fact, it is socially acceptable. This is why those who kill for “honor” or cold-blooded murderers as I prefer to reinstate it, are almost never punished. The United Nations estimates around 5000 murders of women per year worldwide from this wicked mindset, and this is an underestimation as many murders occur in sylvan, remote areas and go unreported to authorities. The number is frightening for such a barbaric practice.
Links to additional relevant NGOs
Sources to Consult
- Poem video
- Pakistan Honor Killings
Ideas for helping out with the issue
- Bringing attention to the topic