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Honour killings – An increasingly dangerous phenomenon!


Killing a family member (mostly female) for bringing so called dishonour to the family is referred to as honour killing. The so called dishonour is known to be brought by different factors – refusing divorce, marrying against the family’s wishes, not wanting to have sex with the partner or engaging in sexual acts with people from the same sex, wearing clothes which are not acceptable to the family etc. The people who decide the so called dishonour include people from the family, goons and self proclaimed social activists. United Nations Populations Fund estimates 5000 deaths due to this social evil every year. The unofficial figure could go upto 5-6 times this.

Honour killing is known to be prevalent in India, Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Yemen, and other Mediterranean and Persian Gulf countries, and also within migrant communities in France, Germany and the United Kingdom. In Saudi a women was killed because she dared to chat with a man on Facebook. In Pakistan, a women who refused to have sex with her husband because she was tired was mercilessly raped and killed by all her family members. In India, Rizwanur Rahman was killed by Todi’s man because he dared to marry the rich businessman’s daughter. In Iraq, more than 79 women were killed because they violated the so called “Islamic teachings”.

Its all the same everywhere. So why is this prevalent? There is a strong positive correlation between violence against women, and women’s social power and equality with a baseline of development, associated with access to basic resources, health care, and human capital, such as literacy. In a male-dominated society, there is more inequality between men, and women lose out not just physically and economically, but crucially because men who feel subordinated will often try to regain a sense of their authority in turn by excessive subordination of those below them, i.e. women.

Even in India, this is highly prevalent in patriarchial societies in the North. Unless we have a change in our values, women will continue to be supressed as always and considered a piece of dirt!

PS – Men are killed too in the name of honour but more than 90% are females and therefore my blog concentrates on that fact!

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9 Comments

  1. Mini

    This by far one of ur best blog :-). Thank you fr writing this . Seriously its really sad tat women are still being treated like this even in th 21st century. Why is th worl still dominated throughout by men ?? . I mean there shud be equality between men and women and they must respect each other. God knows wen these sad conditions will improve.

  2. Abhishek

    Sad but true. Well written article though !!!

  3. Hello Aseem,

    Nice blog, I came through it for the first time. I liked your Dominos article. Nice one.

  4. anita

    Why blame only men for the sad plight of women when women too involve in such kind of incidents? Victims’ mother, aunts, mother-in-law, sister-in-law etc also accuse the victims to bring dishonour to the family and thus they want their menfolk to kill the accused.

    • Anita,

      Totally agree. In my experience of hear-say among relatives and friends, its been the case that mother-in-law’s, sister-in-law’s are more to blame than husbands and father-in-law’s.

      It’s high time that communities came out of such animalistic behaviour, learn things like ‘forgiveness’ and ‘pardon’.

      It is important to respect a woman’s thoughts and feelings just like one do to a man. Gender should not determine the level of heed one pay’s to the other person’s need to be understood and treated fairly.

      • aseemrastogi2

        yes I completely agree that women are more to blame for these killings..but then even though the women plan such activities, it is the men who finally execute such activities…so i guess both should share the blame…in the end as u say everything is becoming dependent on gender n tht is horrible!

  5. sandeep

    nice one Aseem !!
    @Anita : u did the RCA perfectly. the root cause ofcoz is the family.The women in the family supported and mayb helped the male members in such an act of cruelty , and that doesn’t amaze me that the male member cud actually do it…

    It’s all about what you learn and what ur family n society gives you.

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