Killing women to protect “honor”!

The most shocking incidents of murdering women and young girls under the pretext of preserving honor of the family or person happened in the past weeks and shocked even those who in normal circumstances do not bother to follow such incidents.

A young child, who was married off to her cousin at the age of 12 and had a child at the age of 13 fled from abusive home and went to Turkey from her home town in the western province of Khuzistan in Iran. In a complicated operation, her family could track her and persuade her to return home. Her dad and her uncle, who was her father-in-law as well travelled to Turkey and with promise of impunity brought her back.

She was taken by her husband and beheaded. The murderer husband took the severed head with him and paraded it on the streets in front of the horrified passers byes.

Killing women in the absence of laws to protect them and punish the killers has increased in recent years.

This specific murder horrified even men who many joined with women to denounce it. There are a number of factors which contribute to the increase in such crimes. Tribal and family traditions in areas where such people know each other and women must adhere to the internal rules of the clan is one reason. But women are being murdered in the cities, where there are no such traditions. Lack of protection for women and clauses in the penal codes is a major contributor to the rise in such crimes. The perpetrators are aware that they might get a light sentence if caught and taken to court. women rights activists and Campaign to Stop Honor Killings which was set up 2 years ago are working towards education, change in law and the punishment of the perpetrators.

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