Skip to main content

PA daily article: Honor killings used as an excuse to kill women for other reasons; honor killings should be made a crime

     “Despite the efforts of the women’s organizations participating in the Forum to Combat Violence Against Women and the human rights organizations, the murders for [family] ‘honor’ continue to occur – [in fact,] their number is on the rise. For example, the number of femicides [committed] on the pretext of family honor in 2012 (sic, should be 2013) was 27. Compared to previous statistics, we see a clear increase in murder cases. If we take the statistics from a few selected years, we will find that in 2004, 5 women were murdered on the pretext of family honor. In 2006, that number rose to 8; in 2012, it reached 13, and in 2013, 27. As for the current year: As of May 18, 2014, the number [of murdered women] has reached 15. Unless the situation changes, the estimated number for 2014 is over 30.
As for the motives for the murders: In most cases, [the crime] is not committed for motives of ‘honor,’ as is usually claimed. Autopsies performed on six of the women murdered for motives of ‘honor’ in 2013 revealed that they had been virgins, in contrast to what the murderers had claimed.
What, then, are the murderers’ real motives? In most cases, the motive is inheritance. Additional motives may include the victim’s discovery of a family member’s secret – for example, that they had collaborated [with Israel]. Why is it nonetheless claimed that the murder was committed in defense of ‘honor’? Because this is the legally accepted claim to alleviate the verdict. The murderer uses the motive of family ‘honor’ as a sure way of shirking [the penalty for] his crime, by exploiting the mediating circumstances prescribed by the current penal code. It should be noted that the penal code used in Palestine is the old Jordanian code which has since been amended in Jordan. Regrettably, this code is still in use in the West Bank, while in the Gaza Strip, a similar use is made of the old Egyptian [penal] code, which has since been amended in Egypt.
The murder of even one woman is too much. What will happen if that number reaches 30 – not including the cases that go unreported, and which do not appear in the statistics. Until laws [are passed] that define the murder of women for motives of ‘honor’ as a crime punishable by law, women will continue to be murdered using the claim of ‘honor.’”

RelatedView all ❯