‘Honor’ Killings in Misogynistic Society: A Feminist Perspective
The plight of women in Pakistan is terrible in terms of gender-based violence. Every year more than thousand women have been killed in the name of ‘honor’. The aim of this paper is to explain the underlying causes of the incidents of ‘honor’ killings, and find out the reason why many instances of ‘honor’ killings go unreported and the perpetrators usually able to evade punishment. This study found that the prevailing ideology of honor, a stimulus to honor killing, gender-biased, abusive, and corrupt to the core police force along with the weak judicial system and legal loopholes in existing laws are the determining factor of unabated incidents of killing under the pretext of honor. This study asserts that Pakistani government must act quickly and decisively to plug legal loopholes in order to halt the most consistent, abhorrent heinous violence from going unpunished. Furthermore, the gender bias permeates in institutions at all levels, therefore, there must be mandatory sensitivity training for both the police investigating honor crimes and the judges adjudicating over them. The authorities must ensure that police without bowing to any pressure be it political or religious impartially investigate the cases of ‘honor’ killings. This study understands that the incidents of honor killings are the manifestation of the patriarchy, therefore, aforementioned measures are critical elements but not sufficient to deal the issue of ‘honor’ killing. There is the need of transformative change in society which can occur with the reduction of gender inequality. The state of women cannot be improved unless women get economic independence, greater access to education, increase participation in political activities, and get widespread awareness of socio-economic and political issues.
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