Honor killings are being witnessed in different parts of the world. While such acts are hidden in most households, there is no doubt that such acts do take place in a number of countries and have been doing so for a number of years. The victims of honor killings in most cases are women and females. Some cases have also been registered where men have been victimized. However, such cases are rare, but are widely publicized. The fact remains that women face such victimization within the household, while men are usually victimized in full public glare.


What is the reason behind, honor killings taking place with increasing regularity? The reasons for such acts are different and depend upon the kind of culture followed by different nationalities. Honor killings are condoned by the Arab world, where women do not even have basic rights. In most cases, women are treated like slaves and killed when the male member of the family believes that the woman of the household has been in in a manner that is defying his honor. It does not matter whether the woman has really defied the male head of the family. It is the decision of the male member to do away with the woman and justify the action under the name of family honor.


A number of cases have come to light in countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan and India, where women have been victimized regularly. While the reasons in Afghanistan and Pakistan are similar to those in the Arab world things are quite different in India. The actions taken in the name of family honor remain the same, but the reasons provided to justify the actions are varied. In most cases, it is the immediate relatives of the woman that are involved in such actions. A recent case, which is gaining publicity, is that of a 17-year-old girl from Haryana, who was forced to marry a 50-year-old man in the same village. The teenager refused to live with the man she had been married to on the grounds that he was twice her age and returned home back to her parents. Rather than sympathize with the teenager the father of the teenager chose to kill the girl. In this case it was the parents of the girl who justified their actions in the name of honor.


A number of cases are reported quite regularly in different parts of India, where such acts are taking place with increasing regularity. Honor killings are carried out in the name of caste and even for financial gains. The Khap Panchayat’s ruling the rural areas are notorious in the application of such laws within the society they live in. There have even challenged actions by the government when asked to do away with such acts. Quite a few of these killers are roaming free with some even challenging the very Constitution, which they are required to follow. In one particular case a teenager murdered his mother in the name of honor. Do these acts bring any honor to the family of the dead? Most killers involved in such acts in India are apprehended and face the rule of law. They spend their lives behind bars, leaving the rest of the family to defend its honor in any manner possible. It is only the rich and famous who manage to get away from such acts, but live a life of dishonor throughout their lives.