The overwhelming majority

A little more on that BBC article about attitudes to ‘honour’ killing and its evasiveness about who exactly gets killed in such killings.

Sometimes it is men; Dsquared provided the link to this nightmare.

A university student was murdered to “vindicate a family’s honour” after he fell in love with their daughter and made her pregnant, a court was told yesterday.

Student was Iranian, daughter and family were Bangladeshi, father disapproved of student, said there was already a marriage arranged for daughter; she was forbidden to see student, confined to house, phone taken away; they met anyway, she got pregnant, they planned to marry.

On November 20 Mr Ghorbani-Zarin was found dead in his car, a green Renault, in Spencer Crescent, Oxford, which is close to his home…He was found with 46 stab wounds, mainly to the chest, the trial was told. His head had been tied to the headrest of the car following his death.

Sometimes it is gay men: Jeremy talked about one such case on Little Atoms last month. Sometimes it is children. But it’s usually women. The BBC should have said all that, instead of just vaguely saying ‘people’. As for instance Rajeshree Sisodia did in this article:

A family’s reputation is considered paramount in several cultures. And ‘honor killing’ is a centuries-old practice by which people – predominantly women – are murdered by relatives for behaving in a way that is perceived to destroy the family’s honor within the wider community.

That’s easy enough isn’t it? Just say it’s predominantly women. Or, go into more detail, as Sanchita Hosali does in this interview at AWID, Association for Women’s Rights in Development:

Research in the UK and elsewhere has shown that the overwhelming
majority of victims of ‘honour killings’ and ‘crimes of honour’ in general,
are women and girls, and the greater proportion of perpetrators are male.
The ‘Honour Crimes’ Project works from the basis that ‘crimes of honour’
encompass a variety of manifestations of violence against women including
‘honour killings’, assault, confinement, imprisonment, and forced marriage,
where the claimed motivation, justification or mitigation for the violence
is attributed to notions of ‘honour’ (related to family (natal), conjugal or
community ‘honour’) requiring the preservation of male control of women,
particularly women’s sexual conduct whether real or perceived.

There, that’s not so difficult. That’s how the BBC should have done it.

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