NOW, Nadler Unite against "Honor Killings"

By Wright, Martha | National NOW Times, Summer 2000 | Go to article overview

NOW, Nadler Unite against "Honor Killings"


Wright, Martha, National NOW Times


What is the price of a family's honor? Sometimes, it's a woman's life.

In June, the National Organization for Women joined Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch for the introduction of H.R.362, a resolution to condemn "honor crimes," the practice of burning, maiming or killing women who have been accused of bringing shame to their families.

According to Carlos Salinas, director of Amnesty International's legislative program, victims of so-called honor crimes are murdered after seeking a divorce, committing adultery or even being raped. These women are injured or killed by a male member of their family, for what are often perceived, not proven, indiscretions, much less crimes.

"Honor crimes is a dangerous oxymoron. It's a skewed moral code that says that killing a woman is an honorable act, but surviving a rape is an unforgivable taint," NOW President Patricia Ireland said. "At the root, this violence against women in the U.S. and around the world, is about men maintaining control over women's behavior."

Developed by NOW with Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-NY, the resolution calls for inclusion of so-called honor crimes in the State Department's annual human rights report, discussion with world leaders about such crimes, and allocation of funds to law enforcement in countries where these crimes are most prevalent.

Unsanctioned by any religion, honor crimes have been studied and documented by Amnesty International and other human rights organizations. In Pakistan, Amnesty uncovered one case where a family opposed a woman's divorce from her abusive husband. At her father's request, the woman was killed by her uncle while in her lawyer's office. …

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