INTRODUCTION: To understand completely or in view of the trends in Honour Killing, in order to remove the epidemic of honour killing from the society, one should have complete knowledge and understanding of what makes these murders unique. Honour killing is an ancient ritual in a modern world. in simple terms it can be defined as the killing of a relative, especially a girl or a women, who is perceived to have brought dishonor on the family.
Victims of honor killings are killed for various reasons such as refusing to enter an arranged marriage, being in a relationship that is disapproved by their relatives, having sex outside marriage, becoming the victim of rape, dressing in ways which are deemed inappropriate, or engaging in homosexual relations and this is what makes the murders unique. In the modern time, when the trend of honour killing should fall 1down, it’s actually rising up. United Nations in year 2000 estimated that there are 5,000 honour killings every year. Whereas, in the context of pakistan this number might be reasonable for the country alone.
In 2002 and 2004, UN brought a resolution to put an end to honour killings and other related honour crimes. In 2004 a meeting was held at The Hague where the law enforcement officers from the UK announced plans to begin reopening old cases to see if certain murders were indeed honour murders. Although this practice is prevalent worldwide including North and South America, Africa, Turkey, the number of incidents relating to this crime is extremely high in India. The honour killing numbers are more than guesses. Definitive or precise worldwide estimates of honour killing incidence do not exist.
In different parts of the world, the perception is different and the way they react to it, for example in the west many people including the police, still shy away from calling it an honour killing, some insist, it is a form of Western-style domestic violence or killing of women. This study shows that there are two types of honour killing which differ significantly from each other. one group has an average age of seventeen, the other groups average age is thirty six. ORIGIN AND RISING TREND OF HONOUR KILLING FOR THE SAKE OF FAMILY HONOUR
The history of honour killing in India may back to thousands of years. in country like India where religion and culture placed a very important role, anything which affect their religion or traditions will not be accepted by them, and this strong belief is not new, it’s been taking from past many centuries. So, the social structures, rules and bindings have been very strong for centuries and there exists an approval of the killings within the religion and social norms of the sub-continent. Yet the strong social boundaries may have prevented the behaviors that would lead to such punishments.
If we see the modern history honour killing seems to have gained momentum since the partition of India in 1947. The tradition where women were forcefully killed to protect the family’s honour was widely viewed most brutal and horrible during 1947 and 1950. During that time, a lot of forced marriages and forced marriages and rapes were causing women from India to marry men from Pakistan and vice-versa. This would trigger the hunt for the people marrying in other country, other religion, or caste and when they return home, they would be killed so that the family honor is preserved and the family is not declared outcaste.
The socio-political environment during this period caused women to be made victims for humiliation among conflicting communities leading to the humiliated families killing women of their own families. Norma Khouri, an Arab writer said honor killings originate from the belief that a woman’s chastity is the property of her families, a cultural norm that comes “from our ancient tribal days. A big rise in the trend of honour killing for the sake of family honour is seen till date which should have dropped down. The question arises why?
When everything is developing in the country, education, technology where are we lacking behind? Although honor killings are often associated with Asia, especially South Asia and the Middle East, they occur all over the world. Women’s advocacy groups, however, suspect that more than 20,000 women are killed worldwide each year. Murder is not the only form of honor crime, other crimes such as acid attacks, abduction, mutilations, beatings occur; in 2010 the UK police recorded at least 2,823 such crimes. In modern India there have been thousands of crimes of honour across the country.
A killing of a couple is very common which is symbolic of the lack of a specific socio-cultural identity among those who kill in the name of honour. The problem cannot be categorized to one specific caste or region, rather it is a cultural problem that persists across borders and beyond religion Analysis of the social aspects of honour crimes indicates that they cut across class lines and are perpetuated by feudal structures that intend on retaining their social and political hold over local communities.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VERSUS HONOUR KILLING Domestic violence is a significant problem in all over the globe and especially in the United States. According to the data between 1989 and 2004, around 21,124 women died at the hands of an intimate and during the same period 8,997 men died in domestic violence. The proportion of the killings related to honour killing were not given. The basic cause of any honour killing is a rumor than any female family member has behaved in an immoral way.
While honour killings are just a minority of total domestic violence in the United States and Canada. A 2008 Massachusetts based study found that although immigrants make up an estimated 14 percent of the state’s population, accounted for 26per cent of the state’s population, accounted for 26 percent of the 180 domestic violence deaths from 1997-2006. Lenore Walker, an author confirmed the difference between the victim-perpetrator i. e one responsible for the crime in honour killings and ordinary domestic violence.
In the ordinary domestic violence involving westerners, it is rare for brothers to kill sisters or for male cousin to kill female cousin. while child abuse occurs in which fathers may kill infants and children, it is rare for western fathers to kill teenage daughters. When further researched, the press has reported number of cases related to honour killing in the United States, Canada and Europe. The victims are largely young women’s and teenage daughters. the cases show the killings to be primarily a muslim-on-muslim crime .
and one factor, unlike most of the western domestic violence, honour killings are planned, where the family may warn the victim team and again over a period of years that she will be killed if she dishonors her family by rebuffing an arranged marriage, or becoming to westernized. Honour killing involve the entire family members. Fathers, mothers, brothers, cousins, uncles and sometimes grandparents as well. In some cases taxi drivers, neighbors. mosque members report her whereabouts to her family. Whereas in domestic violence seldom is celebrated even by the one who commit such crime.
there is an important difference here, Muslims who commit such crime and the one who assist it view the killings couageous and murder as fulfillment of a religious obligation. DIFFERING CHARACTERISTICS OF HONOUR KILLING AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: 1. Honour killings may committed mainly by Muslims against Muslim girls and young adult 2women. In domestic violence it is committed by men of all faiths usually against adult women. 2. Honour killing committed mainly by fathers against their teenage daughters, domestic violence committed by an adult male spouse against an adult female spouse.
3. Honour killing is carefully planned. Death threats are often used as a means of control. in domestic violence the murder is often unplanned and spontaneous. 4. Honour killing planning involves multiple family members, in domestic violence the murder is carreied out by one man with no family complicity. 5. In honour killing the reason given is that the girl/women has dishonored the family. in domestic violence reason may range from a poorly cooked meal to suspected inidelity. 6. In honour killing, the killings are carried out with barbaric ferocity.
Female victim is often raped, burned alive. In domestic violence some men do beat a spouse to death; they often simply shoot or stab them. 7. The murderer in honour killing do not show regret. Instead they experience themselves as victims. in domestic violence sometimes, remorse or regret is exhibited. INHIBITING FACTORS:- The factors which can restrain or control honour killings are:3 1. Not aware of their rights 2. Not aware of available help 3. Disownment/ostracized from community 4. Displacement/isolation/identity 5. Poor perception of police and other agencies 6.
Fear of lack of confidentiality 7. Fear of losing children 8. Fear of making their situation worse 9. Language barriers 10. Rejection of asylum application by home office 11. No recourse to public funding 12. Risk of deportation WHAT MUST BE DONE TO PREVENT HONOUR KILLING? Immigration , law enforcements and religious authorities must all be included in education, protection and prosecution efforts in the matter of honour killing, not only this but policy responses to honour killing and related violence under the categories of protection, prevention and prosecution.
social related services such as shelters can provide protection for women’s and should trained in the facts about honour killings. Police and other institutions need to be alerted to indicators of threatened honour-related violence if they are to direct potential victims to the right kind of services. Various protection programmes, like the federal witness protection programme for the intended targets of honour killings should be established in every part. England has already established this programme. Also, clear government warnings must be issued to muslim,sikh and hindu immigrants and citizens.
Honour killing must be prosecuted, and the accused, enablers, helpers all must be prosecuted. Families participating in such crimes should be publicly shamed. Western judicial systems and governments have begun to address this problem. Various cases of honour killing are decided in the favor of the victim. like the case in 2006, Danish court convicted nine members of the family for the honour murder of Ghazala Khan. In Islamic gender racial separation is a human right violation and cannot be justified in their religion.
as long as this group continue to spread violence and government or police officials continue to accept the inaccurate reality, women will continue to be killed for honour in the west. Social policy developments and legal development can prevent honour killing. This battle for women’s rights is of prime focus. It is a necessary part of the democracy along with freedom of religion, tolerance of homosexuals. One of the very important natural rights is right to live and right to freedom is equal for all irrespective of the gender.
This is where the greatest battle of the twenty first century is joined. Honour Killings support strategies to address honour killings as part of a holistic approach to the promotion of gender equality In line with European Parliament Resolution on the current situation in combating violence against women and any further action, it is recommended that the European Parliament through its contacts with national counterparts must promote and support a strategic and holistic approach to addressing honour killings in societies or communities where it is tolerated.
Manifestation of patriarchal values in which both men and women in those societies are socialized, and the eradication of this practice therefore depends on the effective promotion of gender equality. A strategic approach involves coordinated actions political, legal, economic, cultural to promote gender equality which includes addressing societies’ attitude and values with respect to masculinity, and to group versus individual rights, as well as actions to enhance the role of women in all fields.