Honour Killing: A Question of Silence?

  • Ria Juneja
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  • Ria Juneja

    Assistant Professor at The ICFAI Law School Dehradun, India

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“The time will come when mankind will be humane to every creature that breathes” A woman can be harassed by individuals within her family for multiple of reasons, including rejecting to enter into a forced arranged marriage, being a victim of sexual harassment, or seeking a divorce from her husband. There is some evidence that homosexuality can also be perceived as grounds for honor killing by relatives. The United Nations estimate for the number of honour killings in the world is 5000 per year. Many women's groups in the Middle East and Southwest Asia suspect that more than 20,000 women are honour killed in the world each year. Now what does “honour killing” mean? An honour killings the murder of a member (male/female) of a family or social group by other members, due to the belief of the perpetrators that the victim has brought humiliation upon the family or the social group. The perceived disgrace is normally the outcome of actions such as dressing in a manner that is unacceptable to the family or the community, wanting to terminate or prevent an arranged marriage or yearning to marry by their own choice, or engaging in heterosexual acts outside marriage. In this article, an attempt is made to analyse the meaning, nature and reality about honour killing and the role Khap Panchayat system in India, plays in the practice of the aforementioned social evil. Further it makes some suggestions for appropriate solutions through lawmaking. The social legislation is not just the outcome of simple welfare considerations, but rather a key instrument in the process of development. However, in order to ground social legislation more firmly within development strategy it is necessary to be aware of the political contexts within which policies are developed and evolved. As the Indian Constitution promises equal protection of laws to all citizens2, by implication, then we should not only have just laws, but also see that they are justly administered and implemented.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 2, Page 952 - 958

DOI: https://doij.org/10.10000/IJLMH.114471

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