Honor killings are the most brutal forms of domestic violence, psychological complex, legally challenging, socially distressing act of a woman murder for the man to satisfy his ego, as a man’s honor belongs to a woman, isn’t that pathetic that for an alleged marital infidelity, Refusal to submit an arranged marriage (which is their fundamental right) demanding a divorce, perceived flirtatious behavior and being raped are reasons for most of the honour killings. False suspicion, patriarchal cultures and Tribal systems lead to more severe cases of honor killings.
Repeatedly incidents of killings in the name of Karo Kari or ‘honor killings’ are rising in extreme numbers in Balochistan. Some months ago a man and a woman were killed in Killi Bakhtayarabad area of Dukki district of Balochistan.
Police termed both horrible incidents as ‘honor killings’. False suspicion and accusations alone are many times enough to defile a family’s honor and therefore enough to warrant the killing of a woman just in the name of tarnishing a family’s reputation which is perceived as immoral behavior but isn’t killing a woman based on suspicion immoral too.
A father killed his 18-year-old daughter along with another person in Balochistan’s Nasirabad district. Killings of women in Nasirabad and Jaffarabad districts appear to be rampant in the name of honor killings. Honor killing never was a part of Baloch culture, Baloch adopted it through influence because of cultural beliefs from their neighborhood as Arabs and Asia.
In patriarchal cultures, social norms do not give empowerment to women that results to a woman’s live structured around and through a strict maintenance of an honor code by men.
Women are considered as a property of a man and honor is so deeply entrenched in every fabric of Balochistan that the government cunningly neglects the everyday occurrences of women being killed and maimed by their families which is a crime against humanity.
Pakistan has the highest number of documented and estimated honor killings than any country in the world. This year, the so-called ‘honor’ has claimed 16 lives of women in different parts of Balochistan. These are reported and registered cases as per the statistics shared by the UN Women Sub-Office in Quetta. Most of the killings in the name of ‘honor’ go unnoticed due to the tribal taboos and poor administration. Honor killings are not only common in Muslim countries like Pakistan or the Arab nations, it is a practically unknown practice in many other countries.
This fact supports the idea that honor killings are to do with culture rather than religion. Many Muslim commentators and organizations condemn honor killings as an un-Islamic cultural practice. There is no mention of honor killing (extrajudicial killing by a woman’s family) in either the Qur’an or the Hadith’s and the practice violates Islamic law.
We have become a self conflicting society under the influence of our inept religious leaders and imams. In the name of Islam we commit crimes which is exactly opposite of real teachings of Islam. This is because we don’t bother read and think and just follow others blindly, out of laziness. Rising number of such macabre incidents is heart-wrenching.
The origin of honor killings are evidenced throughout history in the different cultures and traditions of many regions. The Roman law of patter-families gave dominant powers to man over their women and made laws that the lives of children and wives were at the hands of men in their families. Ancient Roman Law also justified honor killings by stating that women who were found guilty of adultery could be killed by their husbands.
During the Qing dynasty in China, fathers and husbands had the right to kill daughters if suspicious of dishonor. Reports of women being burned to death, stabbed, stoned to death and fired with bullets are as barbaric.
There are numerous laws for the protection of women’s rights like the Anti-Honor Killing Laws Amendment. Bill 2014 and Anti-Rape Laws (Criminal Laws Amendment) Bill 2014 passed by the Senate of Pakistan in March, yet there is no change to be seen, they cannot do much until there is a positive change in society’s attitude toward women. Only laws can’t bring the much-needed change, education system and implementation of such laws can.
The education system has failed to bring a positive change in the mindsets of male dominated society towards women, a change of mindset is much needed to bring a reform and prevent such hideous incidents of so-called honor killings.
Women’s rights organizations and activists demand that the government must act upon such incidents in all such cases to prevent women from being murdered in the name of honor and arrest the culprits.
They need to strengthen the existing laws against honor killings, and to make them really strong so the guilty ones can’t run away and perpetrators of such a heinous crime are presented with severe punishments befitting to the gravity of the crime they had committed. The murders should be brought to the justices and must be made example for others.
Women emancipation corresponds to complete independence of women to exercise her free will. This becomes a reality only when women are liberated from the shackles of the patriarchal society.