Honor Killings a Problem in Pakistan

The women and men were reported to be condemned when video footage showed them singing and dancing at a wedding. 

Pakistan’s Supreme Court has become involved in a case of 4 missing women, believed to have been killed for clapping and singing at a wedding while men were dancing nearby. One person caught the scene on video using his mobile phone and on Wednesday the Supreme Court ordered an investigation of whether the four women were killed for clapping and singing near men at a wedding.

The investigation follows a statement made to journalists by a brother of one of the dancing men in the video, that a tribal council had ordered the killing of these 4 women because they violated tribal honor.

The 4 women from the northern village of Gizar Alitray  have not yet been located, yet the deaths have also not been confirmed. The brother told the Supreme Court:

“I say this under oath, I swear it, the girls have been killed under orders from a tribal court. They were killed on May 30. I fear for my life, for my brothers,” 

This case highlights the issue of the disproportionate number of honor killings committed against women in Muslim countries. Reuters reports:

“Families or tribes often take justice into their own hands. Gatherings of elders hand down punishments that include the rape or killing of women for crimes including falling in love with a man deemed inappropriate, or besmirching family honor. Fraternizing and dancing between men and women is frowned upon. Almost 1,000 women were killed in the name of honor in the South Asian nation last year, according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. Activists say the actual number is much higher as a majority of cases go unreported.”

About Claire

I grew up in both the Netherlands and the US. When I moved to America at age 10 I was confronted with conflicting social constructs of gender and class. As a student of the social and cognitive sciences, I gained a greater understanding of how human decision-making can lead to unintended system-wide consequences in the interdependent world we live in, especially when you throw stereotyping into the mix. Having struggled as both a poor and female American citizen, I am quite aware of what it means to blame a victim for their circumstances. I feel that I have a voice, and responsibility, to stand up for those who are currently silent.

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