High Commissioner speaks out against domestic violence and “honour killing”
17 March 2010 4:30 am
Below is a statement by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human
Rights, Navi Pillay, on the occasion of International Women's Day, which
is commemorated on 8 March 2010.
Below is a statement by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, on the occasion of International Women's Day, which is commemorated on 8 March 2010:
"It has been estimated that as many as one in three women across the world has been beaten, raped or otherwise abused during the course of her lifetime. And the most common source of such violence comes from within the family. Amongst the most extreme forms of abuse is what is known as 'honour killing'.
Most of the 5,000 honour killings reported to take place every year around the world do not make the news, nor do the other myriad forms of violence inflicted on women and girls by husbands, fathers, sons, brothers, uncles and other male – and sometimes even female – family members. In the name of preserving family 'honour,' women and girls are shot, stoned, burned, buried alive, strangled, smothered and knifed to death with horrifying regularity. The reasons for these murders vary. They may be committed because the victim is considered to have breached family or community norms with respect to sexual conduct, or simply because a woman has expressed a desire to pick a husband of her own choice, or wishes to divorce or claim inheritance.
Most perversely, rape victims are sometimes viewed as having 'dishonored' their families and are killed by them as a means of erasing the stigma, while the men who raped them often escape lightly.
The problem is exacerbated by the fact that in a number of countries domestic legal systems, including through discriminatory laws, still fully or partially exempt individuals guilty of honor killings from punishment. Perpetrators may even be treated with admiration and given special status within their communities.
Honour killings are, however, not something that can be simply brushed aside as some bizarre and retrograde atrocity that happens somewhere else. They are an extreme symptom of discrimination against women, which – including other forms of domestic violence – is a plague that affects every country.
Kindly read the rest of her statement here . Photo courtesy of www.ohchr.org.