Causes of Honor Killings

In Iran and in many other societies, the concepts of “honor” or “manhood” are closely related to patriarchal views on women. In the first lesson of this webinar series on honor killings, Iranian author, journalist, and women’s rights activist Parvin Bakhtiarnejad examines various cases of honor killings. Ms. Bakhtiarnejad then discusses the challenges faced by many Iranian women in seeking a better future. As these women become more aware of their individual and social rights, they compare their lives with those of women in the “modern” world and protest against the limitations placed on them. With discriminatory norms having been transformed into values, however, they become the victims of violence and injustice perpetrated by those around them and even by their own families. In these societies, Ms. Bakhtiarnejad argues, women represent “deviation” and their lives are spent under constant control. Suspicions about a woman’s behavior are one of the main causes of honor killings. Refusing an arranged marriage, tribal beliefs, and attempts by women to seek divorce number among other common motives behind these killings. This phenomenon has become a social issue and is spreading throughout Iranian society.

 

 

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