ATTITUDES ABOUT HONOUR KILLING AMONG MEN AND WOMEN —PERSPECTIVE FROM ISLAMABAD

Masood Ali Shaikh, Irshad Ali Shaikh, Anila Kamal, Sobia Masood

Abstract


Background: The concept of honour has cultural, social and moral underpinnings that determine its
expression and perseveration. Women are viewed as the bearers of family honour with chastity equated
with abstinence from premarital or extramarital relationships and obeying norms determined and
dictated by traditions and societies. The objective of this study was to determine the opinions of men
and women pertaining to killing in the name of and saving one’s honour. Methods: A cross-sectional
survey with convenience sampling was conducted among the 18 years and older (range 18–71) men
and women. Respondents were approached in markets, bus-stops, hospitals, and various other public
places in Islamabad from April 12th to June 27th 2006. A structured, interviewer-administered, and pretested questionnaire was used with both open and close-ended questions on demographics and attitudes
about honour killing based on a vignette that was slowly read out in Urdu, in a neutral and judgmentfree tone of voice to potential respondents. Responses to close-ended questions based on the vignette
provided, and pattern among men and women were compared using Pearson Chi-square test to
determine associations between the dichotomous variables and gender, while responses to one openended question were summarised based on the observed similarities and bivariate associations with
gender were determined. Results: We approached 630 conveniently selected individuals at various
public places in the city of Islamabad. Six hundred and one agreed to participate and completed the
questionnaire, i.e., the response rate was 95.4%. Three hundred and seven respondents were male
(51.1%), and 294 (48.9%) were females. Three hundred forty-three 343 (57.1%) respondents believed
that the man in the vignette did the right thing by killing his wife upon finding her in bed with another
man. Divorcing one’s wife rather than resorting to killings, after having found her with another man
was approved by 220 (36.6%) respondents, while the rest answered as ‘don’t know’. Conclusion:
Majority of men as well as women considered it justifiable and acceptable to kill one’s wife as a mean
to save one’s honour. The most significant finding was the fact that overwhelming number of men and
women did not believe in either forgiveness or divorcing one’s wife who has engaged in extramarital
sexual relationship.
Keywords: Honour killing, Women, Opinion

Full Text:

PDF

References


de Bruyn M. Violence, pregnancy and abortion. Issues of

women’s rights and public health, 2nd edition. Chapel Hill NC:

Ipas; 2003.

Human Rights Watch. World Report 2006. New York, NY:

Human Rights Watch; 2006.

United Nations Population Fund. The State of World Population

– Lives together, worlds apart. New York, NY: United

Nations Population Fund; 2000.

United Nations. Ending violence against women: from words to

action–Study of the Secretary-General. New York, NY: United

Nations; 2006.

World Health Organization. World report on violence and health.

Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2002.

Rice-Oxley M. Britain examines ‘honor killings’.

http://www.csmonotor.com/2004/0707/p06s02-woeu.html

(Accessed on June 21, 2007).

J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad 2010;22(3)

http://www.ayubmed.edu.pk/JAMC/PAST/22-3/Masood.pdf 41

Amnesty International. Stop “honor killings” in Iraq.

http://web.amnesty.org/actforwomen/svaw-060607-action-eng

(Accessed on June 21, 2007).

Verma R. Honour killings on the rise in India: Women’s group.

http://www.onlinewomeninpolitics.org/archives/04_0112_in_wri

ghts.htm (Accessed on June 21, 2007).

Amnesty International. Pakistan - Honor killings of girls and

women. http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engASA330181999

(Accessed on June 21, 2007).

Kulwicki AD. The practice of honor killings: a glimpse of

domestic violence in the Arab world. Issues Ment Health Nurs

;23(1):77–87.

Gadit AA, Patel S. Karo-Kari. Disturbed psyche or wild ego? J

Pak Med Assoc 2007;57:112–3.

Women pilots for PAF fighters. http://www.dawn.com/2006/03/

/top1.htm. (Accessed March 31, 2006).


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Contact Number: +92-992-382571

email: [jamc] [@] [ayubmed.edu.pk]