Honor killing or honor crimes is the associated homicide  of the family members or social group member by the counterparts  due to the belief by the architects that the discussed victim has brought  shame and sully upon their family, social grouping or community (Brandon & Hafez, 2008). Honor crimes are in most cases directed to women and girls but their increment in practice has been extended to me as well. The perpetrators seek to punish the people who are said to have caused the shame to the family and social groupings. Honor crimes are influenced by adoption of any of the following behaviors or perception of such manners as dressing in such manners that are unacceptable to the respective family or social grouping, wanting to bring to a stop or bar from taking place a set to happen marriage or if they desire to marry by their own choice. Such becomes fierce especially when they wish to marry a member who is from a social group deemed inappropriate by the other family members. Other reasons that influence honor crimes are engagement in heterosexual activities outside marriage or involvement in homosexual acts. According to the United Nations High commissioner for the refugees, honor crimes do involve both physical and sexual violence  an extended confinement periods, abuse medically and issuance of threats such as that of execution and honor killing (Wiesner-Hanks, 2006).

Honor crimes and killings are associated to the belief that a woman’s chastity belongs to her family as a property and a cultural norm that is dated back to 1200 B.C when the Hammurabi and Assyrian tribes ruled. Honor killing and crime were also encouraged in Rome whereby the male family members who opted to not punish the feminine adulterers in their families were actively persecuted. For example, in the traditional Rome, a victim of rape was seen as having been dishonored to the point of living a destroyed life and reputation, in such a case, honor killing was regarded as “merciful act.”Honor crimes are attributed to the old traditional Rome and other region practices that sought to clear shameful acts and behavior from the society.

Literature review

In the whole of the Islam states and religious believing society, thousands of innocent women are shot or stabled, strangled or burned to death on annual basis. The inhuman acts are perpetrated by the male generation amidst theses women due to the argument that they have in one way or the other dishonored their families by engaging in rapports that are not accepted by their cultural and religious doctrines and conventions (Newburn & Rock, 2009). The crime of honor is a phenomenon that does shield the terrible reality of the practice of femicide which involves the killing of daughters and sisters who are suspected of;

  1. Loosing their natural virginity
  2. Having posed a refusal to an prearranged matrimony or
  3. Opting to divorce or walk out of an existing marriage

The Honor crimes are brutal and despite cases where a woman might be raped or abused or set to face punishment due to unfounded gossip, she has little chances of saving from paying the appalling price. N a case study, a victim of Crimes of honor, Rania Arafat, had to flee home after she fell in love with a man that her family despised. She due to being afraid of violence had to flee home and she was living in hide outs. She eventually after promises of forgiveness and a new dawn in her life, and her believe on the words of her mother and father, she agreed to go back to her natural home. She however agreed to the first meting in a police station which saw one of the victim brothers sign a document not to cause her any harm. She however was not accorded a joyous reunion, she was murdered. This inhuman act was done by another brother as Rania was headed home. Upon the doctor’s investigation, Rania Arafat was still a virgin. 

Crimes of honor do involve women just like Rania who are subjected to hiding from their families’ life due to the fears they have regarding their lives and men who commit femicide. Honor crimes are hard to get precise figures on their practice and executions.  This is because the respective murders are unreported, the original perpetrators go unpunished and the family honor concept in some societies justifies the practice. Honor crimes are much practiced in regions where the concept that women are regarded as the vessels of family reputation does predominate. Honor killings are practiced much in Bangladesh, Great Britain and Brazil, Ecuador and Morocco.

The honor and the associated shame connection is frustrating. It is noted that the loss of control of a feminine gender does accrue to shame. In regard to this, the males and their families those are unable to take control of their females, specifically in sexuality, regard their honor as having been threatened and result into a shame. Shame in this case can only be restored and the respective honor regained upon the retribution of the deviant female. The non patriarchal societies regard the punishment of a misbehaving woman as a method of family purification and the perpetrators are accorded some sought of respect in the community.

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Male and family honor is dependant on the control of the women’s behavior. The honor and the cultural  believe does legitimize honor crimes and abuse of the feminine gender for their violations of the codes of honor ascribed to them by the olden non-western and other modernizing western societies (Barahoma, 2005). Honor crimes are more prevalent due to the legitimization of patriarchy which is the systems that do define the public scope relating to life as being risky and off-limit to feminine gender. Women who repeatedly violate the unspoken honor codes are subjected to beating of dinner is late or if she deny sex or in some extreme cases if she wears the wrong color of shoes depending on what the respective society expects her to hold as the acceptable behavior. 

Honor crimes revolve around the abuse of human beings who are not adhering to the outlined society codes of respect. However, honor crimes are much inflicted to women as the society expects the male gender to experiment some things like sex before marriage but females are not supposed to do so. The double standards of the society favors men at the expense of women and coupled by honor attributes that the respective sexes are supposed to adhere to as outlined by their societies, does lead to abuse upon a perceived violation (Archer, 2003). Honor crimes are thus in human and do not fit in the 21st century conventions.

Opinions of the issue

Honor crimes are a form of domestic violence that is too rude and very inhuman in all aspects. The males and the practice of patriarchy should be discouraged and equality as well as equity of both genders brought into practice. Due to the existence of the male gender dominance and the segregation of the females, honor crimes tend to much harm the feminine gender due to their low status in society and the restrictions imposed to them by the social codes of conduct. For instance, in a country like Afghan, the males are the leaders; the fathers are the commanding units, followed by their elder sons, the younger sons, their grandsons and then their wife’s comes subordinate to their own grand sons. Such inequality does suppress women to extreme measure such that they are faced with punishment through the honor crimes. In line with the honor killings, the existence of gender inequality should be fought against to prevent and more biased punishment of women for perceived misconduct.

Customary anguish is traditional and outdated. Due to such factors, society should be encouraged and made ware of better governing principles to prevent the practice of honor crimes. For instance, in Afghanistan, customary law is a valid legal reference; a systems known as Farhang. However Pashtunwali which is the way of Pashtuns is the strictest version of the countries customary law. Frahang ensures the dominance of the oldest male of the house and decisions are made by the patriarchs in the respective council’s referred to as Jigsaw, in which all the participants have come into a consensus. Such advocating by the customary law is unfair and the torture that they inflict should not be given chance (Hossain & Welchman, 2005).

Forced marriages play a role in honor crimes and should be fought against and everyone given unequal chance to decide who they wish to spend their live with. Forced marriages are the kinds that have led to the killing of innocent women simply because they preferred to put across their opinion on the matter in protest. Honor killing that is influenced by a woman’s protests about a chosen marriage partner are the most awkward and it is essential that the perpetrators are brought to justice and the practice completely brought into a stop. Let every woman make a decision to whom they wish to have children with and spend their lives. Thus, forced marriages in 21st century are outdated and should not be practiced.

Gender cleansing should not be a reason to practice honor crimes and killings. The social law according to some societies advocates fro the punishment of the forfeiters of what the social and family norms advocate for as a way of cleansing the unit. Such cleansing involves the practice of honor crimes thus it is not a practice that is supposed to be practiced in the 21st century. The society should thus shun gender cleansing especially Iraq.


The practice of honor crime and murder is a social plague in particular societies with much emphasis in the Muslim community around the globe (Tilley & Farrell, 2011). The Islamic authorities have failed to condemn it openly and they have left the practice to go on yet it is disadvantaging their women.  For example, some Islamic scholars declared honor crimes an Islamic imperative that is guided by the principle of virility and advocated for by Islam. Thus honor crimes are practiced more by the Islamic societies as they regard their practice as the methodology that is able to prevent the misconduct of  women and the elimination of a bad element in the family unit of the social grouping which the belong to. Honor crimes do cause harm to the feminine gender and the perpetrators are given a higher status and accorded respect to the society at the expense of an honor killing of an innocent woman who sought to express her felling and emotions in a new and different way from the rest of the society (Riches, 2011). Liberty and freedom of humanity should not be compromised and the customary practices, law and forced marriages, execution of the pregnant women and those who lose their virginity before marriage or those who opt for divorce after a failed marriage should be shun. Honor crimes and killings are inhuman and efforts should be made to try the perpetrators of the practice. 

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