Summary: It is the killing of a member of a family who is perceived to have brought dishonour upon relatives. Pressure group Human Rights Watch says the most common reasons are that the victim refused to enter into an arranged marriage, was the victim of a sexual assault or rape, had sexual relations outside marriage, even if only alleged. But killings can be carried out for more trivial reasons, like dressing in a way deemed inappropriate or displaying behaviour seen as disobedient. Men may also be targeted, by members of the family of a woman with whom they are perceived to have had an inappropriate relationship. But Rothna Begum, researcher on the Middle East and North Africa for Human Rights Watch, says women bear the brunt of such punishments because they are more widely perceived as "keepers" of family or community honour. Women's advocacy groups suspect the global figure is likely to be closer to 20,000 victims per year. Most such killings are particularly difficult to prove or prosecute. There are often no witnesses and little motivation within the community for police to pursue suspects.In Pakistan, conviction rates are very low because of blood-money laws which allow kin to forgive perpetrators, usually family members in such cases. Even if convicted, men who have taken part may sometimes receive reduced sentences.
Opinion: I feel that this "honor killing" is ridiculous and unbelievable. The thought that parents can actually kill their own daughter or invite relatives to kill their own daughter is horrendous. I feel that families do not have the right to decide the fate of their children like that and no one should either unless it is the law. A live or even two in the case of a pregnant woman is at stake and parents should not be so cruel. I hope that more can be done to provide help to these women and men to help them escape the evil wrath of their parents. Those convicted should also face harsh sentences instead of being let off so easily.