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Women in Pakistan suffer unabated killings for 'family honour'

ANI | Updated: Apr 23, 2022 14:13 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], April 23 (ANI): In the name of honour killing, murder committed on the pretext of family honour, women in Pakistan continue to suffer in the hands of perpetrators legitimising their actions through a misplaced sense of justice, reported local media.
In most cases, the idea behind the murders is that of a woman having transgressed the perceived notions of morality or sometimes sexual morality. Notably, it is always the perpetrator who determines when sensibilities have been overstepped or traditions breached and the right or wrong is decided according to their perception.
It is pertinent to note that these perpetrators are not strangers but the men killing at the behest of the family. While the perpetrators are fathers, brothers, and husbands, these crimes often involve a degree of collusion and agreement from family or even the community.

Thus, it is not surprising that there are no clear statistics regarding the specific number of honour killings committed annually in Pakistan as the authorities are misled by the family members who describe such deaths as suicide or natural causes, reported The Friday Times.
It is horrifying how in some cases, the most innocuous of behaviours, such as clapping at a family wedding or wanting to leave an abusive marriage, is interpreted as 'inappropriate', 'unacceptable' or 'dishonourable', leading to killing for "honour".
Though there are laws in place to address these issues, the legislation leaves things open to the court for interpretation as to whether a crime was honour-based or not, in the event that it could lead to a reduced sentence. Thus, this leaves room for bias, according to the media outlet.
According to a Supreme Court judgment in 2020, Pakistan has one of the highest per capita honour killings in the world. However, by using words like 'honour', the Pakistan society not only downplays the atrocity of the crime but legitimises it with a belief that 'bad character', particularly pertaining to a woman, needs to be punished or it will tarnish the community at large. (ANI)