According to the United Nations, an estimated 5,000 are victims of honor killings every year; however these acts of violence do not make the news. Contrary to normal murder, the perpetrators get minimal punishment or no punishment at all. One might wonder how the act of murder can be accepted so easily in society, this acceptance of murder occurs through its justification by the use of honor. Killing in the name of honor may seem like an ancient tradition for some, however in multitudinous Asian and African cultures, it is prevalent and continues in our modern day and age. The murder in the name of honor is a heinous, cruel and brutal crime against humanity; the lack of law, governmental interference, and education in underdeveloped countries are what have led to the continuation of these crimes which must be halted, and can be by raising awareness, increasing education, and implementing severe laws which the citizens must abide by.
Honor killings occur for various different reasons. The main reason for honor killings is the restoration of a family’s honor; however the ones who carry out the act of honor killings also have a personal gain. The motive for killing in the name of honor is to maintain the power that men have over their families and communities, especially over females. In societies where honor killings occur women are merely objects of little or no worth, however they embody a family’s honor, which is priceless. Through honor killings, men deny women of their basic rights, giving men the false perception of power and authority. The false perception of power stems from men’s’ decision making in regards to marriage, divorce, sex, and sexual orientation of the people in their community. Although the feeling of authority is what drives men into the murder in the name of honor, that is not their elemental vindication for committing the crimes. There are numerous actions which cause men to perform the act of murder, and they are: adultery, premarital sex, divorce, homosexuality, and deciding to not go through with an arranged marriage.
The countries in which honor killings are dominant have no laws which protect females from their male family members. The murderers are not punished for their crimes in most cases, and if they are punished, it is a minor punishment such as a short sentence in jail. The minimal amount of punishment is due to the fact that the authorities treat honor killings as crimes of passion, although they are not. Crimes of passion occur spontaneously and whimsically while honor killings are premeditated in most cases.
In Iraq, the law does not recognize honor killings as murder. There is a law against murder in the name of honor; however, the punishment is a meager sentence, compared to a murder sentence. The lack of severe punishment allows men to rape, mutilate and kill women with minimal jail time. In Pakistan, women have caused the declaration of honor killings as illegal. Despite that fact, the law is rarely practiced, if at all. The lack of governmental interference is what causes the brutal act of honor killings to continue till this day.
In order to halt the heinous crime of honor killing, there must be more awareness in western societies, a higher level of education for women, and an increase in governmental interference.
As awareness increases in more modern societies, women may be able to gain more rights and the government will refrain from neglecting the deaths which are outcome of the brutal act. Educating women will also decrease honor killings due to the fact that they will understand their rights in society and religion, leading them to seek justice rather than die willingly. Honor killings have not stopped due to one main reason, the lack of governmental interference. Had honor killings been treated similarly to murder, many communities and families would stop the monstrosity that is, honor killings. Therefore, governments should apply strict laws against the murder in the name of honor such as more jail time.
This petition has been made to raise awareness about the numerous deaths which were cause to "Honor Killings" and it is the first step to stopping the murder of innocent people.