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Hi! My name is Luxy and I am currently enrolled at University of Toronto. For my final paper, for a women's studies course, the topic I chose was "honor killings". I am having some trouble in discussing the topic from a feminist perspective, due to the lack of information. I would appreaciate any help you can provide. Thank you, Luxy

Thanks for your note and I'm sure that your work on honor killings will go a long way toward educating your classmates about the realities of how this is one way women continue to be discriminated against. The basic premise behind honor killings is that a woman has done something to cause her family shame--that is--ask for a divorce, be thirty and single, have an affair. Basically, anything the family deems "inproper"--even if all of it was brought on by her husband's inproper activities. The family then kills the woman--and it feels it is justified in this killing because she has caused her family "shame."

Many of these crimes happen in the Middle East and in parts of Asia famously in Jordan, where a young journalist Rafit Hussan (I think), has worked to expose these crimes for what they are. She was honored with a Reebok Human Rights Award for this work.

There is also a special airing on Cinemax soon called "Crimes of Honor," which focuses on such killings. There are also groups working to combat this reality--such as Equality NOW, and Sisterhood Is Global. I hope that helps -- good luck.


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