The Problem of Honor Killings in Modern Society

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 2442 |

Pages: 5|

13 min read

Published: Mar 18, 2021

Words: 2442|Pages: 5|13 min read

Published: Mar 18, 2021

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Historical Background
  3. Terminology, Characteristics, Cultural Pressure
  4. Explicit Activators of Respect Killings
  5. Methods, Cases
  6. Criticism
  7. Conclusion


Honor killing is also known as “shame killing”. It is basically “killing” or “murder” of family member especially ladies of the family. Family thought that if they allow the victim to live, she will bring dishonor to the family. Honor killing is basically associated to ladies. Men can also become the target of honor killing but such cases are rare. If they are raped, refused to marry a person selected by family, dressed in a way which is not acceptable by society, divorced, if they are in a relationship which is not acceptable by family, if they changed their religion they are murdered for the sake of honor. This is known as honor killing. It is an aggressive act which is committed by members of family in order to save the dignity of family.

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Historical Background

Some scholars said that honor killing was basically started from ‘ancient Rome’ “where male family members who did not take action against the female adulterers in their families were actively persecuted”.

Honor killing originated from different cultures and traditions. The “Roman Law” of “pater families stated “men of the family have complete control over both their children and wives”. So, according to this law, “the lives of children and wives were in the hands of the men in their families”. Ancient Roman Law also concluded honor killings by stating “women who were found guilty of adultery could be killed by their husbands”. During the “Qing dynasty” in China, it is allowed to fathers and husbands to kill their daughters and wives if they found something which can bring “dishonor” to their family.

Among the “Amerindian Aztec” and “Incas”, “adultery was punishable by death”. During John Calvin’s rule, “women found guilty of adultery were punished by being drowned in the Rhone river”.

Honor killing is the type of murder in which a particular person is killed mostly by the member of their own family in respect to save their name or reputation in society. It is basically associated with females. If women live her whole life according to their family or in-laws under strict restrictions of their honor code, she is allowed to live otherwise not. From the birth of a girl to women, they are asked to behave well in public, to hide physical appearance in front of others, do not talk to stranger males saying that all these are immoral behaviors. By avoiding or ignoring such restrictions, if women refuse an arranged marriage, demand a divorce, do jobs with males and most common if she is raped, she is being killed in honor’s name. Honor killing is the most complex case of any country.

Terminology, Characteristics, Cultural Pressure

Honor killing is also referred as “karo-kari”. “Karo” can be straightforwardly interpreted as “dark man” and “kari” as “dark lady” and alludes to sex outside the obligations of marriage. The term “karo-kari” is generally utilized as an equivalent word to respect murdering, particularly in the Sindh district of Pakistan.

It is said “if woman is labelled as kari, then it is believed that she will bring disrepute for family. So, in order to save honor of the family, family members consider it their duty to kill her. They think that it is the only way by which they can restore the honor of the family”.

The particular idea of respect killings is the aggregate idea of the wrongdoing – numerous individuals from a more distant family plan the demonstration together, once in a while through a formal 'family board'. A critical element is the association of respect killings to the control of person's conduct, specifically as to sexuality/marriage, by the family as a system. Other key angle is the significance of the dignity of the family in the network, and the shame related with losing societal position, especially in tight-weave communities. Offender frequently don't confront negative disgrace inside their networks, in light of the fact that their conduct is viewed as supported.

Respect killings of more seasoned unfortunate casualties are frequently executed by the spouse, however in 44% the executioners additionally incorporate relatives of the either the person in question or the spouse. The rate of cooperation by family members is higher in the Muslim world at 66% of cases including more established exploited people, while in Europe the family partakes in 31% of cases. Almost a large portion of the more established exploited people were liable to torment before they passed on.

Culture put a lot of pressure on society. We basically made this immoral act our culture. Men and women both have to maintain honor and respect of the family in society. But we consider women the symbol of honor and dignity. They are treated as asset of men. Women have no right to raise voice for their ‘rights’. But if they do, they are killed on the name of honor. Muslim communities say, “When wealth is lost nothing is lost, when health is lost something is lost, when honor is lost everything is lost”.

Explicit Activators of Respect Killings

Forced Marriage

Sometimes, girls have relationship with individual who is not acceptable by family. When family become aware of her relationship, they killed her to protect their so called reputation of the family in society and because of that some girls refuse to marry with a person that is selected by her family. The family of that particular girl made arrangement of their marriage forcefully having fear that this act of their girl can bring bad impact on the whole family. So, in order to save that known reputation they decided to kill their own daughter in the name of honor.

Seeking Divorce

The woman who is not happy with her married life or being tortured by her in-laws and trying to get rid of that pathetic living after analyzing the whole nature of her in-laws, she took a step of giving divorce and asking for her rights. When she took decision, the family of that woman try to convince her to think again or to understand the circumstances and told her that you have to compromise otherwise your whole life would be ruined and the society will not accept you. They try every possible way to convince her, if she is convinced they will not harm her but if that woman still go against their will or attempt to get justice she is being forced then and some people only tortured to convince her and some cruelly killed her in the name of honor and reputation in society.

Allegations and Rumors

In some cultures, when a woman decided to have her independent life by doing jobs of their own choices or some women do jobs due to their circumstances, and worked till late or with male colleagues they were always being trapped in rumors accused by society or other egoistic male, who could not bear women to do better in working criteria so they started accusing them, with multiple activities, about their character or relationships. Due to the accusation her family afraid that if these rumors will not stop, then they will not be able to raise their head again in society. If such kind of rumors spread in the whole society then they will not able to live peacefully in that society, so they take some harsh actions against woman to save family due to her allegations for their family’s sake of honor.

Victims of Rape

In most of the cultures, woman who become victim of rape has to face many serious violence from members of family and from the society. It is believed that such kind of ladies bring “disgrace” for everyone in the family. Especially if they lost “virginity”. So, to protect family from “dishonor” they killed her to save honor of family.


Homosexuality is not very common in Pakistan but abroad is facing this inappropriate act a lot. It is playing a greater role to trigger honor killing”. Some people state “It is not only same-sex sexual acts that trigger violence. Behaviors that are regarded as inappropriate gender expression can also raise suspicion and lead to honor violence.

Methods, Cases

Strategies that are basically used for honor killing include:

  • Stoning
  • Stabbing
  • Beating
  • •Burning
  • Beheading
  • Hanging
  • Throat Slashing
  • Lethal Acid Attacks
  • Shooting
  • Strangulation.
  1. Use children as murderer Most of the people use children as killer. Sometime, family members ask children to closely observe sister’s behavior, to conform that she is not doing something which can effect honor of the family in society. If they find that she is doing something which can bring ‘disrepute’ to the family, they ask the innocent member who is basically a child, to kill her.
  2. Forced suicide People basically use it as ‘substitute’. A constrained suicide might be a substitute for a respect murdering. For this situation, the relatives don't straightforwardly execute the injured individual themselves, yet drive the person in question to end it all, so as to evade discipline.
  3. Forced Marriage If a girl is found having relationship with a man or if she is raped, her family forcefully married her to restore honor and respect.

There are numerous cases of honor killing in the sake of family’s reputation some cases are as under:

  • Ghazala Khan
  • Qandeel Baloch
  • Sadia Sheikh
  • Aasia and Akbar
  • Aasiya Zubair
  • Dua Khalil Asward
  • Manoj and Babli
  • Banaz Mahmood
  • Jaswinder Kaur Sidhu
  • Shafia Family.
  1. Ghazala Khan. She was a Pakistani girl living in Denmark with her family. She had married by ignoring the desire of her family. Her father with the nine other members of family decided to kill her. After two days of their wedding, she and her husband were shot by her older brother. She died immediately but her husband survived after surgery.
  2. Qandeel Baloch. Qandeel Baloch became quite famous personality on social media in a very short time. Because of her improper dressing, “bold” social media posts and daring attitude in conservative society of Pakistan, she was criticized. Qandeel Baloch was drugged and suffocated on July 15,2016 by her brother”. Her brother said by confessing his crime, “she was bringing disrepute to our family’s honor and I could not tolerate it any further.
  3. Sadia Sheikh. She was 20 years old Pakistani girl who was living in Belgium. Her parents forced her to marry her cousin who was living in Pakistan. But she preferred a Belgian man and left her house to move on with that man. She wanted to amend her relationship with her family. For the sake of reconciliation, she visited her house but her brother shot her for the sake of honor.
  4. Aasia and Akbar. Aasia and Akbar living in Rahim Yar Khan marry without taking consent of their families and moved to Gujranwala. One day two members of Aasia family forcefully entered their house and stabbed them and killed them for family’s honor and dignity.
  5. Aasiya Zubair. Aasiya Zubair was an architect. She was the owner of “Bridges TV” which was basically a TV channel. She was very famous personality. Moreover, a magazine was published with her photo on the cover page. She and her husband were working together in studio. On February 12, 2009 she was found dead in her cabin. Investigations revealed that her husband killed her by stabbing a sharp knife forty times in her abdomen. He also separated her head from her body.
  6. Dua Khalil Aswad. She was a girl of 17 years old. She was living in Iraq and had “Yazidi faith”. She was brutally stoned to death in public because of having relationship with Muslim boyfriend. Some sources said that she had changed her religion to Islam. Her family killed her mercilessly in public to show that they respect their faith and to protect honor and reputation of their family in community.
  7. Manoj and Babli. Manoj and Babli loved each other and wanted to marry but because of different caste their marriage was not possible. They ran from their house and married in a temple. This enraged their families. Babli family went to “panchayat”. They decided that any person who kept relationship with Manoj family would be fined. One day, they were kidnapped and beaten. They were killed, wrapped in a sack and thrown in a canal. After nine days their bodies were found by police.
  8. Banaz Mahmood. She was 20 years old Iraqi girl settled in England with her family. Her parents married her forcefully to a man of older age. He abused her and beat her. She divorced him and fell in love with someone else. This enraged her family. Her father and uncle kidnapped her, beat her and killed her.
  9. Jaswinder Kaur Sidhu .She was 24 years old Indian girl living in Canada. She was a beautician. She married secretly in Canada. When her became aware of this, they called her to India and forced her to give divorce to that man. At first, they asked her politely but then they started beating her. They locked her in a room but one day, she escaped. Jaswinder and her husband were kidnapped, beaten brutally and then murdered. Their bodies were thrown in canal.
  10. Zainab, Sahar, and Geeti Shafia, and Rona Amir Mohammad. Shafia family was living in Canada. Zainab, Sahar and Geeti are three sisters and Roma was their step mother. Their father killed them because he thought that they had affairs”. Police stated “They were found dead inside a car that was discovered underwater in front of the northernmost Kingston Mills lock of the Rideau Canal.


The greatest disadvantage with respect to the choices made by the courts in respect executing cases was that a litigant could diminish his sentence by utilizing the barrier of 'grave and abrupt incitement'. The possibility that slaughtering for family respect is justifiable is expressed again and again as a mitigating ground for concede of a lesser discipline.

Segment 309 and 310 of the PPC gave the legitimate beneficiaries of the unfortunate casualty a privilege to absolve the wrongdoer or acknowledge pay, making murder compoundable. It very well may be seen that there was a positive requirement for enactment to be transformed to secure the exploited people in such cases to guarantee that the laws were sufficiently severe as to keep lawbreakers from such acts later on. Moreover, so-called “panchayat” system should also be removed. Because these illegal panchayats have no right to give orders to kill someone.

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In order to stop sexual violence against women, we need to come up with a holistic plan that addresses women’s lack of power in society and introduce thousands of state-run helplines, shelters, victim support services and legal aid clinics for women all over the country. Increasing job opportunities for women who have nowhere else to turn is also very important. Witness protection program, including a victim protection program to help victims in during trial, should also be strictly implemented. These would be the practical measures to ensure that we see an increase in rape convictions. Instead of relying on boutique private efforts to address these gaps, the government must mainstream such provisions.

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The Problem Of Honor Killings In Modern Society. (2021, March 18). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 20, 2024, from
“The Problem Of Honor Killings In Modern Society.” GradesFixer, 18 Mar. 2021,
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