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Resources: 'Honor' crimes

No Justice in Justifications: Violence Against Women in the Name of Culture, Religion and Tradition

March, 2010
Shaina Grieff

English |  Français 

This briefing presents a survey of culturally justified violence against women, including how violence against women is justified by 'culture', the different forms this violence can take, and recommendations for change. The SKSW Campaign is undertaking projects on 'culture', women and violence, with partners in Senegal, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Indonesia, Iran, and Sudan.

Shame: A documentary film about Honour Killings in Sindh, Pakistan

January, 2005
Sharjil Baloch

Synopsis: "Shame" is part of the honor killing awareness-raising campaign in rural Sindh and southern Punjab. The directors take to the road, documenting shocking interviews that uncover a deep-rooted gender bias in rural Pakistan as well as the first ever footage of a karion jo qabristan, an unmarked graveyard where victims of honor killing are buried without any ritual. An important and timely film.

Title: Shame | Director: Sharjil Baloch | Genre: Documentary | Produced In: 2005

Crimes of Honor In Jordan and the Arab World

June, 2009
Lubna Dawany Nimry


Table of Contents

1. Introduction 3
2. Definition 3
3. Contextual Background 4
4. Legal Background 5
5. General Locale 6
6. Underlying Rationale (seasons) 7
7. Perpetrators 7
8. The Jordanian Case 8
8-1 General 8
8-2 Combating the Social Syndrome 10
8-3 Defenders 11
8-4 Statistics 11
9. Recommendations 13
10. References 14


July, 2009
Robert Ermers

In this paper we will therefore examine the exact meaning of a number of concepts related to honour related violence, the most important being: honour, social status, face, family, honour killing, honour related violence.

There is a certain tendancy to consider honour related violence a subcategory of domestic violence or of male violence against women. However, the term itself reveals no correlation to that respect. Honour related violence is related to honour just like alcohol is related to alcohol related violence. The term honour related violence in itself therefore does not reveal anything about the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim, the victim's or perpetrator's gender or the place the violence takes place. The only thing it conveys is that in one way or another honour is involved.

To Specify or Single Out: Should We Use the Term “Honor Killing”?

April, 2010
Rochelle Terman

The use of the term ‘honor killing’ has elicited strong reactions from a variety of groups for years; but the recent Aqsa Parvez and Aasiya Hassan cases have brought a renewed interest from women’s rights activists, community leaders, and law enforcement to study the term and come to a consensus on its validity and usefulness, particularly in the North American and European Diaspora. While some aver that the term ‘honor killing’ is an appropriate description of a unique and particular crime, others deem it as rather a racist and misleading phrase used to promote violent stereotypes of particular communities, particularly Muslim minorities in North America and Europe.This article works to lay the groundwork by presenting both sides of the debate over the term ‘honor killing’ and analyzing the arguments various groups use in order to justify their particular definition of the term, and if and how they support its use in public discourse. I argue two main points: one, that ‘honor killing’ exists as a specific form of violence against women, having particular characteristics that warrants its classification as a unique category of violence. Second, I show that while ‘honor killings’ are recognized as such in many non-Western contexts, there is a trend among advocacy organizations in the North American and European Diaspora to avoid, ignore, or rebuke the term ‘honor killings’ as a misleading label that is racist, xenophobic, and/or harmful to Muslim populations. This is a direct response to misuse of the term mostly within media outlets and public discourse that serves to further marginalize Muslim and immigrant groups.

Honor Killing through the eyes of Asylum Law

January, 2009
Jessica L. Darnell

HONOR KILLING: A Misclassification under the Gender Nexus.

Ms. Darnell argues in her paper that the threat of honor killing provides potential victims the opportunity to make asylum claims in the United States.

Crimes of Honour UN Resolution -- 19 Languages

October, 2004
United Nations General Assumbly

In October 2004 the United Nations General Assembly passed an historic Resolution on the elimination of crimes against women and girls committed in the name of honor.

Study on 'honour' crime prosecutions published

December, 2008
Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)

Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) study on 'honour' crime has been published today allowing prosecutors to be better able to tackle the cases.

'Deviant victims' and 'deficient men'

November, 2008
Dr. Azza Baydoun

Dr Azza Baydoun has analysed every ‘honour killing' in Lebanon that has gone before the courts since 1999 and found that behind the plea of offended honour lies the crime of femicide. She describes the patriarchal concepts of ‘deviant women' and ‘deficient men' in her research. Here she outlines some of her findings.

Crimes of Passion: The Campaign against Wife Killing in Brazil, 1910-1940

January, 2001
Susan K. Besse

From the article:

"Intense and widespread social concern over crimes of passion exploded in brazil in the 1910s and lasted through the 1930s. (This term refers to homocides resulting from conflicts related to love and/or sexual relations. In pradctice, the crime was generally a male crimes, involving the killing of women -- and/or their suitors -- by husbands, fiances, lovers, or fathers and brothers.) Crimes of passion were by no means a new phenomenon in Brazil, according to Portuguese law (to which Brazil was subject during the colonial period), a married man who discovered his wife in the act of committing adulery had the elgal right to kill bother her and her suitor, and the social custom of doing do did not die with the formal abrogation of this 'right'. Suddenly, however, these crimes began to be experiences as particular threatening."