Preliminary Examination of so-called "Honour Killings" in Canada

Annotated Bibliography

Abu-Odeh, Lama. "Comparatively Speaking: The "Honour" of the "'East'" and the "Passion" of the "'West',"" Utah Law Review 2 (1997): 287- 307.
Abu-Odeh conducts a comparison of legal codes in the United States and various Arab countries which regulate crimes of passion and honour-based crimes. There are similarities between treatment of crimes of passion in the 'West' and honour-based crimes in the 'East'. Women in the 'West' are at risk from legal decisions which have relaxed the crime of passion defence, and this justification/excuse is in some ways compatible with Arab legal codes that place restrictions on when circumstances are taken into account in harming a family member. While there are differences and similarities between "crimes of passion" and "honour" crimes, the wider cultural context must also be taken into account. A universalistic approach to violence against women that focuses on "why men kill their wives" overlooks the fact that, in the 'East', wives are not killed so often as daughters and sisters. Additionally, there have been judicial decisions that continue to reflect a traditional concept of 'honour' in some Arab countries.
Araji, Sharon K. "Crimes of Honour and Shame: Violence against Women in Western and Non-Western Societies." The Red Feather Journal of Postmodern Criminology, 2000.
Male-perpetrated inter-partner violence (IPV) in 'Western' societies should be understood not only in terms of power/dominance but also in terms of honour/shame. Although honour-based violence is associated primarily with 'traditional' societies, these concepts also underpin violence against women in the 'West'. Notions of 'honour' and 'shame' may be understood and expressed differently than in 'traditional' societies, where male and/or familial honour may be understood as tied to female family members' sexual propriety. Violence against women who bring 'shame' to the family may be condoned by the wider community as justified and as the only way to restore honour to the family. In 'Western,' individualistic, capitalist cultures, the source of the 'shame' comes from the individual rather from the community, and the resulting violence is private because of state laws and social sanctions against IPV.
Arin, Canan. "Femicide in the Name of Honour in Turkey." Violence Against Women 7, 7 (2001): 821-825.
The lack of investigation and prosecution of cases of honour killing renders them a form of state-sanctioned femicide. Turkish law characterizes them as a crime, yet they are often seen as justifiable. Defendants in honour crimes cases may rely upon Article 52 of the Turkish Criminal Code, which states that where crime is committed under aggravated agitation, it can be taken into account in sentencing. Other provisions meant to further victims rights, including allowing the victim's family members to give evidence or to become a party to the case, are rarely used to advance the rights of the victim of an honour killing. Arin proposes allowing non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to become parties in certain cases. NGOs could ask the courts to consider their obligations under the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in order to fight the mitigating circumstances that otherwise might be appealed to under the law.
Baron, Beth. "Women, Honour and the State: Evidence from Egypt." Middle Eastern Studies 42, 1 (2006): 1-20.
The state affects honour cultures. Egyptian nationalists used the concept of family honour and elevated it to the national plane to create a sense of 'national honour.' This was done, partly, to "redraw communities of honour and shift loyalties to the state and/or nationalists." The article provides a historical comparison of laws regulating honour-related violence under Arab customary law, Islamic law and the Ottoman Empire. State justice was not as efficient as family justice, so it was never effective in eradicating family honour-based violence. Nationalists in Egypt used the idea of honour to gain public support. They had no intention of eradicating honour-based violence, however, because they sought the support of the conservative elements of Egyptian society. Thus, the concept of honour as tied to female sexual propriety remains an important social concept in Egypt.
Boon, Rebecca. "They Killed her for Going out with Boys: Honour Killings in Turkey in Light of Turkey's Accession to the European Union and Lessons for Iraq," Hofstra Law Review 35 (2006-2007): 815-856.
Turkey must eliminate honour killings in order to fulfill the Copenhagen Political Criteria and gain accession to the European Union. It is in the United States' interest to see Turkey succeed in this goal, as Turkey could provide a model for Iraq, where honour killings remain a pervasive social problem. Turkey has instituted some legal reforms to comply with the Copenhagen Criteria, but honour killings have not been eliminated. In order to eliminate honour killings in Turkey, the USA and EU should fund women's organizations aimed at combating honour killings, educational and outreach programs, safe spaces and shelters for women attempting to escape dangerous situations, and should develop and implement basic socioeconomic programs.
Brandon, James and Salam Hafez. Crimes of the Community: Honour-Based Violence in the UK. London: Centre for Social Cohesion, 2008.
Honour killings, domestic violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) are all part of an honour culture. This honour culture is not simply 'imported' to the UK by immigrants but is being reproduced by third- and fourth-generation immigrants who were born and raised in the country. Their study comprises seven chapters that look separately at notions of honour, forced marriage, honour-based domestic violence, honour killings, and FGM. They consider the barriers to change among immigrant communities and provide policy prescriptions to the UK government.
Casimir, Michael and Susanne Jung. "Honor and Dishonor: Connotations of a Socio-Symbolic Category in Cross-Cultural Perspective." Emotions as Bio-Cultural Processes, edited by Hans J. Markowitsch and Birgitt Röttger-Rössler, 229-280. New York: Springer, 2009.
Understandings of honour, shame, dishonour, etc... vary from place to place, over time, between urban and rural settings, and between males and females. Despite such nuances, there are several commonalities. Most societies share a definition of 'honour' and 'dishonour' related to the male control of female sexuality (although there are also other characteristics that can lead to honour for both males and females.) The chapter provides understandings of 'honour' and 'dishonour' from various regions of the world.
Caulfield, Sueanne. In Defence of Honor: Sexual Morality, Modernity and Nation in Early Twentieth-Century Brazil. Durham: Duke University Press, 2000.
Although it is not a central theme in the book, Caulfield notes the traditional right of Brazilian men to kill their adulterous wives, considers the conception of 'honour' and how 'honour' has been used as a legal defence.
Cheema, Moeen H. "Judicial Patronage of 'Honour Killings' in Pakistan: the Supreme Court's Persistent Adherence to the Doctrine of Grave and Sudden Provocation," 14 Buffalo Human Rights Law Review (2008): 51- 70.
The Pakistani judiciary plays an instrumental role in the continued honour-based violence against women by exercising discretion in sentencing the perpetrators of honour crimes. Judges would often use section 302 of the Pakistani Criminal Code in honour killings which, prior to 1990, provided the defence of grave and sudden provocation and allowed considerable leeway in sentencing. The 1990 Qisas and Diyat Ordinance was expected to make it more difficult to claim defence in honour killings, but judicial decisions limited the law in ways which continued to recognize the defence of grave and sudden provocation. The author predicts that the changes made in the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2004, to further strengthen the law preventing honour killings will fail to effectively address the situation because of the penalties in the Act, a narrow definition of 'honour killings,' and the judiciary's recent interpretations of the grave and sudden provocation defence.
Chesler, Phyllis. "Are Honor Killings Simply Domestic Violence?" Middle East Quarterly XVI, 2 (Spring 2009): 61-69.
Honour killings are distinct from domestic violence. Chesler argues that honour killings are perpetrated by immigrant communities in the West. They are particular to Muslims, and to a lesser extent, Sikhs and Hindus. She suggests that honour killings reveal a "conflict of cultural moralities" between the West and its Muslim immigrants, and that honour killings could be combated through education against honour killings targeted at the Muslim population. The article provides tables detailing honour killings that have occurred in North America and Europe.
Cinthio, Hanna and Marcus Ericsson. "Beneath the Surface of Honour," (2006).
Patriarchal tribalism and an interpretation of Islam based around concepts of honour/shame instead of right/wrong reinforce the attitudes that condone honour killings in Jordan.
Coss, Graeme. "The Defence of Provocation: An Acrimonious Divorce from Reality," Current Issues Criminal Justice 18, 1 (2006-2007): 51-78.
The Australian defence of provocation should be abolished. Use of the defence has reflected a view that males can be excused for proprietary attitudes towards women. Retaliatory violence by men is not loss of self-control but a response to losing control of 'their' woman. Studies have shown that attitudes provide part of the explanation for why the defence of provocation continues to justify reduced sentences. Surveys of Australians show relatively high numbers are willing to blame the female victim of domestic violence for provoking her male partner.
Douki, S. et al. "Violence against Women in Arab and Islamic Countries." Archives of Women's Mental Health 6 (2003): 165-171.
Social views that contribute to violence against women include a wife's misbehaviour, conditions of the husband's daily life, and religious commandments. Islam does not condone honour based violence; it is a cultural, not a religious practice. Researchers need to pay closer attention to the cultural and psychological conditions that create and support honour-based violence. The article provides rates of honour-based violence in Tunisia, Palestine, Israel and Egypt.
Dustin, Moira and Anne Phillips. "Whose agenda is it?" Ethnicities 8, 3 (2008): 405-424.
Debates in the UK around honour killings, female genital cutting (FGC), forced marriage and women's Islamic dress characterize the issues as being about the abuse of minority women. Calling these types of crimes "cultural practices" can stereotype the community and portray the practice as normal or widely accepted within that community. Measures which provide legal remedies and punishment for these types of crimes are less effective than support and prevention. Government should consult with the minority groups in question and with women's organizations to design effective policies to address these crimes.
Epstein, Cynthia. "Death by Gender." Dissent 57, 2 (2010): 54-57.
Some of the factors explaining the occurrence of honour based violence include the view that violence against women who compromise family honour is acceptable, and marriage as a way to organize tribal alliances and regulate relationships between clans in countries which are politically organized around kinship. While NGOs dedicated to promoting human rights are active, there are also many roadblocks to combating violence against women. For instance, Human Rights organizations opposed the 2009 Resolution of the UN Human Rights Committee that affirmed the concept of "traditional values" in promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms on the grounds that it sets a dangerous precedent. CEDAW affirms the value of women, but some of the countries where honour based crimes are the most prevalent are already signatories to the treaty. World leaders need to insist on political change, perhaps by insisting on human rights reform as a precursor to full commercial and diplomatic relations.
Faqir, Fadia. "Intrafamily Femicide in Defence of Honour: The Case of Jordan." Third World Quarterly 22, 1 (2001): 65-82.
Jordan has one of the highest rates of interfamily femicide in the world. The concept of 'honour' is found in many Islamic, Arab, and also Mediterranean societies. Most countries have abolished laws that condone honour based violence but some Arab and Muslim countries have not. Faqir examines Articles 340 and 98 of the Jordanian Penal Code which can mitigate the culpability or sentencing of men who commit honour-based crimes. There are similar provisions in some other Arab countries. This is not an 'Islamic' problem. Honour-based crimes, and conceptions of honour, can be located in pre-Islamic cultural practices. They may become increasingly relevant in societies when changing gender roles threaten to destabilize society and redefine public and private space.
Fernandez, Sonya. "The Crusade Over the Bodies of Women." Patterns of Prejudice 43, 3 (2009): 269-286.
Discourses considering the treatment of women in debates over honour killings, veiling and forced marriage have perpetuated the characterization of Muslims as fundamentally 'Other' to civilized 'Westerners.' Discourses which portray Islam as a monolithic, oppressive, barbaric religion have had the effect of normalizing Islam as oppressive to women by juxtaposing it with gender roles in the 'West.' Such discourses have two effects. First, Islam itself, rather than the individuals engaging in these practices, is cast as oppressive. Secondly, it silences the voices of Muslim women while simultaneously proclaims a desire to free them.
Gadit, Amin A. Muhammad. "Karo-Kari: disturbed psyche or wild ego?" 57, 3 (2007): 112-113.
Honour killings should also be examined from a psychiatric angle. Factors such as psychological dynamics, genetic explanations, brain functioning, personality traits and mental illness may provide explanations for violent behaviour in some males who perpetuate honour killings.
Gill, A. "Patriarchal Violence in the Name of Honour," International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences, 2006.
There is no single definition of honour-based violence that is appropriate and relevant across cultures. The way in which honour-based violence is portrayed in media reporting in the UK has reproduced harmful stereotypes of 'ethnic' women. There are theoretical problems inherent in applying a universal concept of international human rights to particular cultural practices. The state should include members of the affected cultural communities when considering its policy responses. Members of minority communities that are most oppressed (i.e. women) should be afforded a stronger voice. The state may accommodate cultural practices that respect the rights of its vulnerable members.
Goldstein, Matthew A. "The Biological Root of Heat-of-Passion Crimes and Honor Killings." Politics and the Life Sciences 21, 2 (2002): 28-37.
Heat-of-passion and honour-killing defences are found across cultures, and the right of men to kill wives and female family members has been recognized throughout history. These defences recognize a biologically evolved behavioural pathology that is expressed in varying degrees of strengths across cultures. "Honour killings and heat-of-passion crimes are by-products of an evolved male sexual aggression that are intensified by external threats to paternal certainty. This biological perspective may explain why women are killed and why their killers are frequently excused."
Hadidi, Mu'men, Anahid Kulwicki and Hani Jahshan. "A review of 16 cases of Honour Killings in Jordan in 1995," International Journal of Legal Medicine (2001) 114, 6: 357-359.
The authors conducted an in-depth review of 16 honour killings in Jordan to determine the cause of death, severity of injuries, murder weapon, identity of the murderer, how the penal code was employed, and sentencing. Multiple gunshot wounds were the most common cause of death. Culpability and sentencing was often reduced when the victim was pregnant. The most common perpetrators were brothers of the victim. Individuals who killed a female who married without the family's permission received the harshest penalties.
Henry, P.J. "Low-Status Compensation: A Theory for Understanding the Role of Status in Cultures of Honour." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 97, 3 (2009): 451-466.
The importance of concepts of honour (as status) can be linked to herding cultures using the theory of low-status compensation. A theory of relative-deprivation can explain cultures of honour. Aggression in response to insults is defence of the "psychological self."
Hussain, Manza, "'Take My Riches, Give Me Justice': A Contextual Analysis of Pakistan's Honor Crimes Legislation," Harvard Journal of Law & Gender 29, 1 (2006): 223 - 246.
Hussain considers the factors leading to honour-related violence in Pakistan and asks why the Pakistani government has been resistant to reform. She also considers the Legal Codes of Muslim countries more generally, noting that most honour killings take place in Islamic countries. Legislation addressing honour killings is an important step forward, but in order for it to be effective the widespread discrimination against women must also be addressed.
Ince, Hilal Onur et al. "Customary Killings in Turkey and Turkish Modernization." Middle 'East'ern Studies 45, 4 (2009): 537-551.
Honour-killings are linked to Turkish modernization. The modernization process contributed to the commodification of women by failing to reach the rural areas and by focusing on superficial elements like clothing, without addressing the fundamentally patriarchal structure of society.
Kakakhel, Niaz A. "Honour Killings: Islamic and Human Rights Perspectives," Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly 55, 1 (2004): 78-89.
The article examines the origins of honour killings in Pakistan. While honour killings are grounded in Muslim culture, they have no grounding in Islamic law. The author examines how international, religious, colonial and current Pakistani laws are applied to cases involving honour killings.
Khan, Roxanne. "Honour-Related Violence (HRV) in Scotland: A Cross- and Multi-Agency Intervention Involvement Survey." Internet Journal of Criminology 2007.
The article reports the results of a questionnaire to women's organizations across Scotland to determine the nature and extent of agency responses to honour-related violence (HRV). The questionnaire asked how organizations were collecting information on honour-related violence, the nature and extent of cross-collaboration between agencies, what guidelines were used for cases involving HRV, and whether the organizations would welcome standardized information. Many organizations have dealt with honour-related violence and the issue needs to be further addressed in Scotland. Over half of the respondents reported conferring with other organizations when dealing with HRV cases, and most did not have HRV-specific guidelines. The organizations unanimously agreed that they would welcome more guidance on HRV.
King, Diane E. "The Personal is Patrilineal: Namus as Sovereignty." Identities 15, 3 (2008): 317-342.
Honour-based violence should be understood as a reaction by a patriarchy or state to define its membership. Honour-based violence is only found in cultures that define membership agnatically (through males of the patrilineal line), where the hymen acts as both the symbolic and real border to membership. The male brother or father (whoever is responsible for the female) asserts sovereignty over the lineage. Honour killings can therefore be understood as "a show of reproductive sovereignty."
Knudsen, Are. "License to Kill: Honour Killings in Pakistan." Chr. Michelsen Institute: Development Studies and Human Rights. WP 2004:1.
Pakistani laws addressing homicide may perpetuate honour killings. Remedies provided in the Penal Code are often perceived as insufficient to fully restore a family's honour, and therefore customary law prevails. Stricter law enforcement and prosecution may reduce the prevalence of honour killings. Pakistan should repeal the Hudood Laws and Qisas and Diyat Act, and a national database to track honour killings more accurately should be established. Additionally, men must also be included in analyses of honour killings. Both the males and females in who engaged in pre-marital or extra-marital affairs could be targeted in honour-related violence and the violence can lead to revenge killings which mainly target men. Honour killings must be understood by taking account of the complex cultural, political and social context in which they are located.
Kogacioglu, Dicle. "The Tradition Effect: Framing Honour Crimes in Turkey," Differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies 15, 2 (2004): 119-151.
Analyzing the actions of institutions addressing honour crimes in local, national and international contexts are necessary to eliminating honour crimes. Institutions can perpetuate honour crimes if they are ineffective, underfunded, or do not work in ways proscribed by law. Failing to account for institutional effects can overlook the political contexts in which honour killings occur and can prevent critically examining an institution's policies and actions which contribute to continued violence. Analyses that further women's rights must be simultaneously deconstructive and constructive.
Korteweg, Anna and Gökçe Yurdakul. "Islam, gender, and immigrant integration: boundary drawing in discourses on honour killing in the Netherlands and Germany." Ethnic and Racial Studies 32, 2 (2009): 218-238.
A comparison of media descriptions of honour killings in Germany and the Netherlands demonstrate that gender, race, religion and nationality intersect in discourses marking membership in a national community. The discourses have the effect of imposing "bright boundaries" which clearly demarcate the majority community as distinct from the immigrant community. Gender, nationality and religion are construed as monolithic identities, and honour killings are portrayed as rooted in Islam.
Lasson, Kenneth. "Bloodstains on a Code of Honour: the Murderous Marginalization of Women in the Islamic World," Women's Rights Law Reporter 30, 3/4 (2008-2009): 407 - 441.
The West could intervene to prevent honour killings in other countries if they can exercise political and/or economic leverage (for example, the EU insisting on human rights reforms in Turkey as a precondition of membership). The author ties honour-killings directly to Islam and is critical of 'the Left,' which he claims "apologizes for Islamic extremism."
Madek, Christina A. "Killing Dishonor: Effective Eradication of Honor Killing," Suffolk Transnational Law Review 29 (2005-2006): 53-77.
Jordanian and Pakistani legislation addressing honour killing is inconsistent with the CEDAW. The most effective way to address honour killings in these countries is to require legislative changes to their domestic laws, not to strengthen the provisions or the enforcement of CEDAW.
Maris, Cees and Sawitri Saharso. "Honour Killing: A Reflection on Gender, Culture and Violence." The Netherlands Journal of Social Science 37, 1 (2001): 52-73.
Honour crimes are a highly ritualized form of violence. Honour killing cannot be explained in purely cultural terms. In the Netherlands, migration settlement patterns have kept pre-existing social structures of immigrant Turkish families intact. Often the male perpetrators are unemployed and consequently highly prize their honour coming from self-respect. There is also a contributing cultural perspective which views women as property and subordinate to men. In light of this, a cultural defence for honour killings is untenable. A woman's right to life overrides defence on the grounds of cultural identity in these cases.
Meetoo, Veena and Heidi Safia Mirza. "Lives at risk: multiculturalism, young women and 'honour killings.'" In Growing up with Risk, edited by Betsy Thom, Rosemary Sales and Jenny J. Pearce, 149-164. Bristol: The Policy Press, 2007.
Ethnicized women who are the victims of domestic violence are caught between the cultural relativism in British multicultural discourse and the private/public distinction, on the one hand, and a social fear of Islam post-9/11 on the other. Fears that honour killings can only be addressed by those with particular cultural competence puts ethnicized women at risk when women from the larger community accept honour-based violence as an instance of 'cultural difference.' An effective approach to honour killings must be able to move away from culture-based discourses and towards human rights discourses. Cultural context is important, but policies addressing honour-related violence should place it within the broader scope of domestic violence.
Meetoo, Veena and Heidi Safia Mirza. "'There is nothing 'honourable' about honour killings': Gender, violence and the limits of multiculturalism." Women's Studies International Forum 30 (2007): 187-200.
Honour killings in Great Britain have been carried out by Muslims, Sikhs and Christians. While many honour killings have occurred in South Asian and Middle Eastern families, African and Caribbean women have also been victims of honour-based violence. Discourses in the UK, however, portray honour crimes as something affecting South Asian and Middle Eastern Muslim communities. These discourses, combined with an approach to multiculturalism that upholds "respecting diversity and valuing cultural difference," means ethnicized women may not get the help that they need. The killing of women should never been seen as a cultural issue.
Menon, Ritu. "Dishonourable Killings." Index on Censorship 35, 4 (2006): 123-127.
Honour killings in India take place across religions and castes. An honour killing occurs whenever women are killed to avenge male honour. Honour-based violence demonstrates the patriarchal control over women's sexuality. Indian feminists and activists have questioned using the term 'honour killings,' and would be better defined as "violent acts of sexual control and subjugation of women in order to maintain either social and economic disparity, or the legitimate (caste, religious or ethnic) community." Menon considers the relationship between caste panchayats (village councils), who have ordered honour killings, and state officials, who in some instances have avoided becoming involved in honour killings that were ordered by the panchayats.
Mojab, Shahrzad. "No 'Safe Haven': Violence Against Women in Iraqi Kuridstan." In Sites of Violence: Gender and Conflict Zone, edited by Wenona Giles and Jennifer Hyndman, 108-133. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004.
Mojab examines Kurdish honour killings in the "safe haven" provided for Kurds by the United States and its allies in the 1991 Gulf War. While honour killings occurred in both times of war and peace, they (along with all instances of domestic violence) increased in times of war. The Kuridsh nationalist project has also contributed to the violence against women. Conservative nationalists have identified some of the more patriarchal aspects of the 'true' Kurdish culture and have discarded some of the more liberal traditions (for instance, the absence of veiling and the socialization of men and women in rural areas).
Mojab, Shahrzad. Violence in the Name of Honour: Theoretical and Political Challenges. Istanbul: Bilgi University Press, 2004.
Honour killings are linked to social upheaval. For example, the Kurds of Iraq and Turkey, who have experienced more brutal effects of war, have had more incidents of honour killing than the Kurds of Iran, who have not. Academics need to discard relativism and take the universality of patriarchal oppression seriously, while still considering the particularity of each patriarchal regime.
Nasrullah, Muazzam. "The Epidemiological patterns of Honour Killing of Women in Pakistan." European Journal of Public Health 19, 2 (2009): 193-197.
A better understanding of who suffers from honour killings would contribute to more effective preventative measures. The author analyzed newspaper reports of honour killings from 2004-2007 in Pakistan to determine common features of honour killings. The article provides rates of honour killings, the average age of victims, the most common reasons behind honour killings, the most common weapons used, and the relationship between the victim and the murderer.
Niaz, U. "Violence Against Women in South Asian Countries." Archives of Women's Mental Health 6, 3 (2003): 173-184.
The article considers the role of religion in informing gender norms in South Asia. Some of the theories that can account for male violence include a culture of machismo, male chauvinism, an attempt to keep women from gaining strength, and social upheaval due to war. The structure of the family is ultimately what allows this violence to occur.
Oldenburg, Veena Talwar. Dowry Murder: The Imperial Origins of a Cultural Crime. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.
'Dowry murders' refer to incidents where a husband or mother-in-law douses a new wife in kerosene and lights her on fire. These are often portrayed to police as cooking accidents. While some articles list this practice as a form of honour killing, it is better understood as a crime motivated by the prospect of financial gain, whereby the husband can keep the wife's dowry and remarry. The 'cultural' practice of dowry can be traced to British policies during colonialism.
Onal, Ayse and Joan Smith. Honour Killing: Stories of Men Who Killed. London: Saqi Books, 2008.
Journalist Ayse Onal recounts the stories of Turkish men imprisoned for killing female family members. The stories describe the circumstances around the particular murders, including the men's motivations for the crime, their understandings of honour, and their relationship with the victim.
Ouis, Pernilla. Honourable Traditions? Honour Violence, Early Marriage and Sexual Abuse of Teenage Girls in Lebanon, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Yemen. International Journal of Children's Rights, 17, 3 (2009): 445–474.
Gender-based violence, including honour killings, violates the human rights of youth as set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Honour-based violence should be conceived of differently than gender-based violence because it is collective in nature. Honour-based violence reflects an honour ideology most frequently found in collective, kinship-based societies. It is connected to many forms of child abuse, including early marriage and sexual abuse. The results of discussion groups with female children in Lebanon, Yemen and the Occupied Palestinian Territories show that female children in honour-based societies tended to internalize the honour ideology and accept that women are to blame for things like sexual harassment. Education and urbanization were negatively correlated with accepting the honour ideology.
Patel, Sujay and Amin Muhammad Gadit. "Karo-Kari: A Form of Honour Killing in Pakistan." Transcultural Psychiatry 45, 4 (2008): 683-694.
The psychological impacts of karo-kari on women and the psychological attributes of men who would commit karo-kari are examined through an analysis of media and NGO reports of karo-kari incidents in Pakistan. Socio-cultural norms and expectations relating to gender roles have contributed to the legitimacy of karo-kari in some communities. Honour killings were legally and culturally sanctioned in ancient Roman, Aztec, Incan and Babylonian societies, and continue to occur around the world whether there is a legal defence for the killing or whether they are outlawed. The authors provide a description of the rate and types of honour killings that have occurred, the common traits of the victims and perpetrators, and the psychological traits of perpetrators.
Pervizat, Leyla. "An Interdisciplinary and Holistic Approach to Understand the Honor Killings in Turkey." In Family Life: a Comparative Perspective on 'Crimes of Honour,' edited by Maria Corrêa and Érica Renata De Souza. UNICAMP: Centre for Gender Studies, 2006.
Pervizat analyses changes to the way in which Turkey's Penal Code addresses honour crimes. While the Code has changed dramatically, it continues to reflect the continued importance attached to the concept of 'honour.' Turkey has demonstrated that it is ready to take a more active role in combating crimes of honour, and Pervizat suggests that solutions should be preceded by an in-depth, holistic study of honour based violence. Religion has an important role to play in combating honour killings. Gender sensitive imams should be included in strategies to teach families that honour violence is not mandated by Islam.
Reddy, Rupa. "Gender, Culture and the Law: Approaches to 'Honour Crimes' in the UK." Feminist Legal Studies 16, 3 (2008): 305-321.
Analyzing 'honour'-related violence as primarily cultural can marginalize the community in question and result in lesser protections for women within that community, but it is also problematic to take culture completely out of the analysis. An approach that is sensitive to the context of each case is required. Honour-based violence should be placed squarely in the range of gender-based violence.
Ruane, Rachel A. "Murder in the Name of Honour: Violence Against Women in Jordan and Pakistan," Emory International Law Review 14, 3 (2000): 1523- 1580.
The Jordanian and Pakistani legal codes and judicial systems fail to adequately combat honour based violence. International law requires that states exercise due diligence to ensure their legal system adequately protects against human rights violations. The comment considers why international human rights conventions and resolutions have failed to protect women from honour-related violence.
Sev'er, Aysan and Gökçeçiçek Yurdakul. "Culture of Honor, Culture of Change: A Feminist Analysis of Honor Killings in Rural Turkey." Violence Against Women 7, 9 (2001): 964-998.
Honour killings can be understood as a patriarchal form of violence which exists independently of religious belief. This form of violence is difficult to overcome in some parts of the world due to patriarchal norms embedded in social and governmental institutional structures and because notions of women's honour can produce real material outcomes for families.
Sev'er, Aysan. "In the Name of Fathers: Honour Killings and Some Examples from South-Eastern Turkey." Atlantis: Women's Studies Journal 30, 1 (2005): 129-145.
Honour killings should be understood as located on a continuum of violence against women rather than as a specifically 'cultural' problem. Violence against women stems from patriarchy and, while forms of patriarchy and violence differ throughout the world, it is a global system. Honour killings in Turkey are tied to the economic worth of women. The dowry and bride-price systems contribute to measuring women's worth in terms of sexual propriety. To combat this violence, states must amend laws that fail to protect women and enforce them. Inheritance and land-ownership laws that discriminate against women should also be changed, which would help relieve the economic burden that the dowry system causes and the economic dependence of women on men. Such changes should come from within countries, rather than imposed by foreign, top-down interventions.
Shapiro, Shira T. "She Can Do No Wrong: Recent Failures in America's Immigration Courts to Provide Women Asylum from "Honour Crimes" Abroad," American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law, Vol. 18, 2 (2009-2010): 293-315.
Shapiro examines cases of women seeking asylum in the United States because they have a fear that they will become victims of honour killings if returned to their country of origin. In Vellani v. U.S. Attorney General and Yaylacicegi v. Gonzalez, the asylum claims of women who feared they would be the victim of honour killings in their home countries were denied. Shapiro questions the reasoning which led to the claims being dismissed. Judicial decision-makers should become acquainted with the cultural and social context of the countries in question apart from official government statements. They should be aware that honour crimes are generally under-reported, and that lack of effective policing or financial corruption can prevent the law in those countries from adequately protecting vulnerable women. Finally, the courts should not take the delayed reporting of sexual abuse as a sign that a woman is not credible. Courts should take into account that a cultural code of silence can prevent a woman from reporting abuse.
Shukla, Rakesh. "Honour Killings: A look within the psyche." International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies 7, 1 (2010):85-87.
Honour killings in Uttar Pradesh, India, have been ordered on the grounds that a married couple is committing incest because they belong to the same gotra (a grouping based on the belief that all human beings descended from certain sages). A psychoanalytic approach could help explain the reasons underlying the rage that justifies a death sentence in these situations.
Siddiqui, Hannana. "'There is no "honour" in domestic violence, only shame!' Women's struggles against 'honour' crimes in the UK." In 'Honour': Crimes, Paradigms, and Violence Against Women, edited by Lynn Welchman and Sara Hossain, 263-281. New York: Zed Books Limited, 2005.
'Honour crimes' are perceived as and dealt with as problems of ethnic and racialized communities in the UK, but white men have relied on provocation defences, which can also be seen as a cultural defence. Stereotyping an entire community can place extra burdens on women who face honour-related violence. The state needs to provide more resources and service providers need better responses to help prevent and protect women from honour-related violence.
Sigal, Janet and Maureen Nally. "Cultural Perspectives on Gender." In Praeger Guide to the Psychology of Gender, edited by M.A. Paludi, 27-40. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2004.
Gender roles, defined as "people's beliefs about the appropriate roles and obligations of women and men," have a cultural basis. Defining gender roles as 'traditional' and 'non-traditional' is overly simplistic, with all cultures incorporating differing degrees of 'traditional' and 'non-traditional' conceptions. This chapter considers the factors affecting the development and maintenance of 'traditional' gender roles, how immigration affects gender roles, and how gender roles can influence spousal abuse. 'Traditional' gender roles within 'cultures of honour,' in which a man's honour is contingent upon the chastity of the women in his family, can contribute to the social acceptance of abuse. Cultures of honour exist in some Middle-Eastern, Asian and Latin American countries. The authors consider the differences and similarities of notions of 'honour' and their consequences for domestic abuse across cultures, with an emphasis on how they can affect immigrant communities.
Tripathi, Anushree and Surpiya Yadav. "For the Sake of Honour: But Whose Honour? 'Honour Crimes' against Women," Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law 5 (2004): 63-78.
The two main factors contributing to gendered violence are the commodification of women and perceptions of honour. Honour-killings occur whenever a man believes he owns a woman and uses violence to enforce this assumption. The article considers laws related to honour killings in Jordan and Pakistan, and instances of honour-killings in India. It then considers measures taken by the international community to prevent honour-killings, and concludes with a list of recommendations for effective prevention and protection of women.
Van Eck, Clementine. Purified by Blood: Honour Killings Amongst Turks in the Netherlands. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2003.
Van Eck examines the factors leading to honour killings, and the alternatives to honour killings, through 30 case studies of honour killings committed by Turks in the Netherlands.
Vandello, Joseph A., Dov Cohen and Ruth Grandon. "Stand by your Man." Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 40, 1 (2009): 81-104.
Honour-based cultures are more accepting of domestic violence when the woman is perceived to bring dishonour on their partners through infidelity than are non-honour based cultures. "Cultural values emphasizing female loyalty, sacrifice, and male honour may indirectly sanction relationship violence and reward women who remain in abusive relationships."
Vandello, Joseph A. and Dov Cohen. "Male Honor and Female Fidelity: Implicit Cultural Scripts That Perpetuate Domestic Violence." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 84, 5 (2003): 997-1010.
Cultural scripts may implicitly promote domestic violence. In two studies, individuals from honour-based cultures (Brazilians, Hispanics and Southern Americans) were generally more likely to view a woman who stays in an abusive relationship favourably and more likely to send messages suggesting domestic violence was more tolerable than individuals from non-honour based cultures (including Canada and the northern United States). Honour-based cultures are generally more likely to perceive a wife's affair to be indicative of a husband's un-trustworthiness and un-manliness. There was also considerable in-culture variation in these perceptions.
Vandello, Joseph A., Dov Cohen and Sean Ransom. "U.S. Southern and Northern Differences in Perceptions of Norms About Aggression: Mechanisms for the Perpetuation of a Culture of Honor." Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 39, 2 (2008): 162-177.
The authors contrast perceptions of norms about male aggression in America's Northern and Southern states. The South is perceived to have a "strong" honour tradition which is absent in the North. The South is more accepting of violence to protect one's self, family and reputation. Although there are differences in the private beliefs of northerners' and southerners' about aggression, "differences in public norms may be more extreme than differences in individuals' private beliefs, and individuals' misunderstanding of this point may be one reason why the norms are so persistent over time."
Vitoshka, Diana Y. "The Modern Face of Honor Killing: Factors, Legal Issues and Policy Recommendations." Berkley Undergraduate Journal 22, 2 (2010): 1-36.
Honour-killings are not only gender- or faith-based practices; they can also be motivated by financial gain or a desire to preserve ethnic identity. Honour killings can be traced back to 700 B.C. They predate religion and are found across religious communities. Homosexual men as well as women may be targets of honour killings. Poverty and political instability should also be considered as factors leading to honour killings. Individuals should be ensured that they can access legal protections if threatened by an honour crime. Additionally, ensuring that individuals who are guilty of honour crimes are automatically disinherited would remove financial incentives for the violence.
Welchman, Lynn and Sara Hossain. 'Honour': Crimes, Paradigms and Violence against Women. New York: Zed Books, 2005.
This edited volume presents various perspectives on existing and potential responses to honour related violence in diverse regions, communities and cultures. The authors take an international human rights approach and locate honour based violence in legal, social and cultural context. Contributions to the volume focus on international approaches to honour based violence, theoretical concerns, and honour based violence as it occurs in different countries and cultures around the world.
Wikan, Unni. "Deadly Distrust: Honor Killings and Swedish Multiculturalism." In Distrust, edited by Russell Hardin, 192-204. Russell Sage Foundation, 2004.
Sweden's multiculturalism policy is considered in light of the honour killing of Fadime Sahindal, an activist and Turkish immigrant to Sweden. Sweden's multiculturalism policy affords different rights to minorities living in Sweden that are not afforded to the majority culture. The chapter raises questions about how liberal governments should treat immigrants that come from illiberal backgrounds.
Wilson, Margot and Martin Daly. "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Chattel." In The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture, edited by J.H. Barkow, L. Cosmides, and J. Tooby. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.
Psychologies of male ownership evolved to ensure success in sexual competition and to mitigate the risk of misdirection of paternal investments. Men's attitudes, emotions, and actions of ownership and the commodification of women denote psychological mechanisms which evolved in the context of particular historical and cultural circumstances. The biological nature of male proprietariness is explored by focusing on the cross-cultural, psychological factors.
Wyatt-Brown, Bertram. Southern Honor: Ethics and Behaviour in the Old South, 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.
In the Old American South, the most socially acceptable way to deal with adultery was for the husband to "take matters into his own hands." Legal punishments were reduced for violence or murder by a husband who discovered his wife was committing adultery. In Texas, it was considered a justifiable homicide. Instances of revenge appear to have been taken out on both the wife and her lover.
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