Namus The cultural features which lead to honor killings are complex. Honor killings involve violence and fear as a tool of maintaining control.
Honor killings are argued to have their origins among nomadic peoples and herdsmen: As a result, inspiring fear, using aggression, and cultivating a reputation for violent revenge in order to protect property is preferable to other behaviors.
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In societies where there is a weak rule of law, people must build fierce reputations. As Amnesty International statement notes: The regime of honour is unforgiving: The way through which women in honor-based societies are considered to bring dishonor to men is often through their sexual behavior.
Indeed, violence related to female sexual expression has been documented since Ancient Rome, when the pater familias had the right to kill an unmarried sexually active daughter or an adulterous wife. In medieval Europe, early Jewish law mandated stoning for an adulterous wife and her partner. Sharif Kanaana, professor of anthropology at Birzeit Universitysays that honor killing is: A complicated issue that cuts deep into the history of Islamic society. What the men of the family, clan, or tribe seek control of in a patrilineal society is reproductive power.
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Women for the tribe were considered a factory for making men. The honour killing is not a means to control sexual power or behavior. What's behind it is the issue of fertility, or reproductive power.
It also comments that the practice is not related to a feudal societal structure, "there are also perpetrators who are well-educated university graduates. Of all those surveyed, 60 percent are either high school or university graduates or at the very least, literate. Women in largely patriarchal cultures who have gained economic independence from their families go against their male-dominated culture.
Some researchers argue that the shift towards greater responsibility for women and less for their fathers may cause their male family members to act in oppressive and sometimes violent manners in order to regain authority. For families who trace their ancestry back to the Middle East or South Asia, honor killings have targeted women for wearing clothes that are considered Western, having a boyfriend, or refusing to accept an arranged marriage  Fareena Alameditor of a Muslim magazine, writes that honor killings which arise in Western cultures such as Britain are a tactic for immigrant families to cope with the alienating consequences of urbanization.
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Alam argues that immigrants remain close to the home culture and their relatives because it provides a safety net. In our cities full of strangers, there is virtually no control over who one's family members sit, talk or work with. Forced marriage Refusal of an arranged marriage is often a cause of an honor killing.
The family which has prearranged the marriage risks disgrace if the marriage does not proceed. In cultures where marriages are arranged and goods are often exchanged between families, a woman's desire to seek a divorce is often viewed as an insult to the men who negotiated the deal.
Victim blaming In many cultures, victims of rape face severe violence, including honor killings, from their families and relatives. In many parts of the world, women who have been raped are considered to have brought 'dishonor' or 'disgrace' to their families. Violence against LGBT people There is evidence that homosexuality can also be perceived as grounds for honor killing by relatives.
It is not only same-sex sexual acts that trigger violence — behaviors that are regarded as inappropriate gender expression e. Sociologists have called this Turkey 's first publicized gay honor killing.
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Views on women[ edit ] Honor killings are often a result of strongly misogynistic views towards women, and the position of women in society. In these traditionally male-dominated societies women are dependent first on their father and then on their husband, whom they are expected to obey.
Women are viewed as property and not as individuals with their own agency. As such, they must submit to male authority figures in the family — failure to do so can result in extreme violence as punishment. Violence is seen as a way of ensuring compliance and preventing rebellion.
The owner of the property has the right to decide its fate.
The concept of ownership has turned women into a commodity which can be exchanged, bought and sold". The most frequently quoted figure published by the United Nations in is an estimate of 5, killings worldwide each year, most of them in Islamic regions of South Asia, North Africa and the Middle East.
Acts by family members which may be considered inappropriate are seen as bringing shame to the family in the eyes of the community. Such acts often include female behaviors that are related to sex outside marriage or way of dressing, but may also include male homosexuality like the emo killings in Iraq.
The family loses face in the community, and may be shunned by relatives.
The only way the shame can be erased is through a killing. Such laws include on one side leniency towards such killings, and on the other side criminalization of various behaviors, such as extramarital sex, 'indecent' dressing in public places, or homosexual sexual acts, with these laws acting as a way of reassuring perpetrators of honor killings that people engaging in these behaviors deserve punishment. On 7 NovemberLaw no.
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