Honour Killing: A Bad Custom or a Crime

Mahwish Rasheed
Honour Killing: A Bad Custom or a Crime


Each society has its specific customs and traditions regarding its own way of life. Pakistan is a developing country. Almost 70% of its population lives in typical traditional rural areas. Honour crimes have been part of Pakistan’s social and legal history for centuries. Honour crimes occur in all four provinces of Pakistan and the tribal areas adjoining the border with Afghanistan. This practice has different names: in Southern Punjab, kalakali in Sindh, karokari; in Balochistan, siyahkari and in North Western Frontier Province (NWFP), tautora.  The paper focuses on the term “crimes of honour” which is used to encompass a variety of manifestations of violence against women, including honour killings, assault, physical and psychological violence, and interference with choice in marriage.
Key Words. Honour killing, Honour, Dishonor, Panchayat, Violence.


There are common traditions and customs of violence against women in Pakistan. Honour killing is a common tradition in which women are killed in the name of honour. Women are seen as the symbol of honour of the men to whom they belong. The culture casts the males as the only protector of the female so they should have full control over her. While this particularly relates to the sexual relations, men also want control over women’s earnings, array and her social relationships with others. If his protection is violated, he loses honour because he failed to protect her. His honour is diminished. These evil customary practices surviving and flourishing in those areas of our country where poverty is made the fortune of the people, depriving is the right of power and sword of justice is given in the hands of careless elephants called Feudals, Khans, Vaderas, Mirs, Pirs and Chaudharies. Not just killings but honor crimes include different forms of violence against women also e.g. physical violence, sexual abuse, psychological violence. The cases of honour crimes are decided by Jirga at the local level. Vaderas and local policy play an important role in honour crimes. A faislo[1] (decision) is passed on the Sardars or tribal council leaders. The compensation includes blood money or khoon baha but can also include the trade of women to the dishonoured family. These crimes tend to be more prevalent in areas of high illiteracy and where there is gender discrimination in general and where the great premium is placed on prestige. The motives behind honour crimes are ownership of property or debt, ignorance, the subordination of women, discrimination against women, superstitions, social pressure and cultural norms etc. Traditionally, honour crimes are committed or claimed to be committed to discovering a woman family member indulging in extra-marital sex. But over the years the claimed justifications have widened to include women’s expression of autonomy by, for example, exercising choice in marriage or a decision to seek a divorce. Additionally, allegations of engaging in dishonourable acts/behavior have also become tools for extortion, settling family feuds or exacting revenge upon an opponent.
                                           Review of Literature
Lynn Welchman and Sara Hossain discussed UN Special Report (1999) in their book, Honour: Crimes, Paradigms and Violence against Women as, Honour is defined in term of women’s assigned sexual and familial roles as dictated by traditional family ideology. Thus adultery, premarital relationships (which may or may not included sexual relations), rape and falling in love with an in appropriate person may constitute violations of family honour. (Welchman & Hossain, 2005) 
Dr Anu Radha Mathu (2008) quoted Susan Brown miller’s words in her book Gender and Development in India: The Indian Scenario that, it is not women’s biology itself, but the value men place on it and the power they derive from their control over it that are oppressive or subordinate. (Mathu, 2008)
Anthropological Point of View
Anthropological literature is replete with the connections of honour with family. Elizabeth Fischer (1994) says, Domestication of animals taught men their role in procreation and the practice of the forced mating of animals led men to the idea of raping women. (Mathu, 2008)
Honor: As Izzat and Ghairat
            Honour is taken as izzat and ghairat in our society. The concept of honour relates with the honour of male members like husband, father, brother and their honour is their females. The notion of honour is of a fundamental importance in societies like Pakistan.
            A woman who engages in zina or unlawful sexual relations is stamped “kari” or black. In order to purify the honour of the man who owns her, she must be killed. A man who kills for sake of honour is ghairatmand[2], both legally & morally supported by his fellow tribesmen. The killings are often executed openly. A man who is unable to clean his family’s honour is considered as beghairat or without honour and considered socially impotent. After killing the women’s bodies are often buried is hidden graveyards or thrown into rivers. No one is allowed to mourn for them. (Honour Killing)
            According to Honour Based Violence Awareness Network, Madre wrote that, the purpose of honour crimes is to maintain men’s power by denying women’s basic rights to make independent decisions about marriage, divorce & sexuality. (Honour Based Violence Awareness Network)
Honour Killing: A Pre-Islamic Practice
Crimes of honor are pre-Islamic practices. They have no real basis in religion but are encouraged by the rise of religious fundamentalism of which women are the prime victims. According to Honour Based Violence Awareness Network, lawyer Hina Jilani says, the right to life of women in Pakistan is conditional on their obeying social norms and traditions. (Honour Based Violence Awareness Network)
Religious Point of View
     From a religious point of view, religious teachings have a direct effect on gender ideology and attitudes towards women. There is no such sanction be it in Quran or Hadith, allowing a person to take the life of another. When a woman is alleged to have “zina” or illicit relationship with a man, the Holy Quran stresses that four witnesses must have witnessed the act of sexual intercourse taking place.
The Holy Quran states that witnesses should not be biased in any way. In Surah Nisa Holy Quran sates that,
   “O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice as a witness before Allah, even against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor. For Allah can best protect both? Follow not the lust (of your hearts), lest ye swerve and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily, Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.” (Abbas & Atwell)
A stanza by Shah Lateef Sur Marui,
                     Iron rings round my neck, handcuffs and chains,
                      My feet are fettered; doors of room are nailed,
                      Spies roam in yard, officials on guard,
                      Unhappy me in this state in a room, I m locked,
                     Oh Malirs’headman! Come and enquire after Malir’s maid
Patriarchy: A Big Reason
         Baker (1999) argues that, Honour concepts are only another way of understanding the operation of patriarchy which is anchored in the assumption of male authority over female and male definition and expectation of appropriate female behavior. (Baker, 1999)
Research Questions
On the basis of literature review, following research questions were designed for this research:
 (1) What is the nature and practice of honour crimes related to honour killings and violence against women?
(2) What are the various socio-cultural reasons responsible for honour crimes.
 (3) What is the role of traditional justice system including jirga or panchayats in handling honour crimes?
(4) What are community perceptions about honour crimes against women?

Materials and Methods

A brief discussion below describes the tools used to gather data from the field.
Research Methodology:
Socio-Economic Census Survey
         This technique was helpful to understand people’s relationships and village’s international layout and economic culture of the community. I have filled 110 survey forms from research site.
Data was collected by observing informants in their daily activities. I observed their activities, rituals, customs and habits etc. I went to the local gatherings and ceremonies and observed people.
Participant Observation               
As a participant observer, I participated in different community gatherings and rituals. I participated in death and marriage ceremonies. I also participated in many informal gatherings of people. I also made participation in daily or routine work of the people.

Key Informants

            Two key informants were selected. First was a woman named Sakeena of age 35 and second was a man named Khuda Bakhsh of age 50. It was a married couple. Sakeena was a housewife and Khuda Bakhsh, the watchman of a government school. My male informant gave me information about area’s landholding, daily life including disputes and conflicts, the culture of the community, male ideas about female seclusion, their own ideas about female education and women’s status. He provided me quite useful information during my basic survey of the area and accurate record about the population cultivated and uncultivated land. Whereas my female informant was helpful in gaining real insight related to the customs, traditions, behaviour and attitude of male & female, the general social atmosphere of the area, the thinking of males about females, status and education, internal clashes and many other aspects of life over there.


            Purposive method of sampling was used during research. Purposive sampling targets a particular group of people. It was a daring task to conduct interviews about honour crimes. So purposive sampling was applied for in-depth analysis of honour crimes.

Open-Ended / unstructured Interviews

            This is one of the main techniques, which was used during research. In order to elicit information, opinions and ideas from the interviewees, it was decided to let them express themselves freely in a relatively unstructured, open-ended, informal and conversational interview. 20 unstructured interviews of women was conducted who faced honour related violence.
                                      Findings & Analysis

Types of Honour Based Violence

            Articulation of personal freedom, particularly where this is in the realm of relationships and sexuality, is the usual causes for ‘honour’-related abuse. Those cultures in which ‘honour’ crimes occur are considered ‘high-context’ where the family dominates over the individual, and therefore any individualistic choice which challenges the collective aims and identity of the family may be considered selfish and a violation of that family’s honour. (Haidar, 2016) Violence has a strong relationship with the concept honour.  Honour relates with the males. Females are considered as ghairat (honour) of their males. Females are treated like personal property by males. Husbands beat their wives on minor matters, kill them on the basis of suspicion of having an illicit relationship with someone else, physically and psychologically tortured them. Not only husbands but in-laws, family and society members are also involve in this discrimination against women. Yasmeen Hassan wrote “Women as Honor” as her third basic concept for why women are molested in an Islamic society.  The idea that a woman personifies her family’s honour facilitates violence against her because to forgive an “errant” woman would bring dishonor on her male relatives and imperil their ability to hold their heads up in society. (Hassan, 2000) I have given different types of violence related to honour below which I have seen at research site.
The major types of honour-based violence (HBV) are;
  • Deprivation of Resources for Physical and Psychological Well-Being.
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Psychological Violence
  • Honour Killing
  • Giving of Women in Penalty
  • Forced Marriages

Deprivation of Resources for Physical and Psychological Well-Being

          It’s a common belief of people especially of males that women have no status. They don’t deserve respect. The birth of a female child is not considered good. Women are deprived of resources for the physical and psychological well-being including health/nutrition, education, and means of livelihood. During childhood, a girl child is often dispossessed of food, education and medical care as compare of her male siblings.

Sexual Abuse

          Sexual abuse is the worst form of violence. This also relates to male’s perception of female sexuality and women as the property of men. 5 cases of sexually abused women were found during research. It was observed that some factors are involve in sexual abuse and these are, trying to make woman to perform sexual acts against her will e.g. rape and gangue rape, pursuing sexual activity when she is not fully conscious or is not asked or is afraid to say no, assaulting her genitals or hurting her physically during sex, by the use of weapons or objects etc.
A table is mentioned below which shows the ratio of victimizing women affected by different kinds of sexual violence. 5 women were interviewed affected by different kinds of violence. The ratio of different kinds of abuse was,                                                 

Psychological Violence

          Psychological violence is another common kind of violence. Denying women their rights to choose their life partner, depriving them of necessities, humiliating them and injuring their sense of dignity, threats of harm, Physical and social isolation, extreme jealousy and possessiveness, deprivation and intimidation, degradation and humiliation, calling her bad names as kutti, kamini, kanjri, suwwar ki aulad, ullo ki pathi, haram zadi, haram khoor, (in local words) and constantly criticizing, insulting her false accusations, blaming her for everything dismissing, Ignoring or ridiculing her needs, destroying trust & breaking promises are the major forms of psychological violence.

Forced Marriages

          Traditionally it is thought to be unnecessary to solicit the opinion or consent of once daughter regarding the selection of her spouse. In these events sometimes a girl commits suicide because she is being pushed into forced marriage or not being allowed to marry a person of her own choice. Sometimes girls are engaged in marriages with the persons who are much elder in age than those girls. It is desperate to say that girls are often forced to marry those persons who are already married once or twice. Women who marry men of their own choice are often seen to destroy their family’s honour; they are usually seized by their parents, forced to marry with someone else, humiliated, assaulted, threatened or killed.
According to one of my respondent
                 Marriage decisions about our girls are taken by father and brothers.
One of my male respondents said,
            It’s against our honor to take an opinion about marriage from women.

Honour Killing

          The idea of killing one’s own child seems dreadful to many parents. Some families may indeed be hesitant to carry out a killing, and may only do this as a result of community pressure.
          Where a family is considered to have lost ‘honour’ they may suffer harassment and social rejection, and be forced by the community & extended family to carry out a murder in order to reinstate their status. In tight-knit communities, social ties are of great importance, and such pressure can be adequate to force an unwilling parent to allow a child to be sacrificed for the sake of the ‘greater good’ of the family as a whole. (Haidar, 2016)
          The common belief I have found at a research site that a woman, who engages in zina or unlawful sexual relations, brings shame and dishonour to her family. Women are not given a chance to clear up possible misunderstandings. Here tradition decrees only one method to restore honour i.e. to kill the offending woman. In order to cleanse the honour of the man who owns her she must be killed.
I have quoted some words of my male respondents in their local language as,
               We  never ashamed of this act. Its a matter of our honour.
A person who has killed his wife said,
                                        I have no regret upon killing my wife.
A folk saying in Jatoi is
When wealth is lost nothing is lost; when health is lost something is lost; when honour is lost everything is lost.
In this custom which has taken the shape of crime, the women usually become the victims and men often safely run away. Some case studies of honour killing are mentioned below which was collected during research.
Case: 1
In June 2002, Mukhtar Mai (30-year-old) was gang-raped on the orders of a council of tribal elders from village of Meerwala, Pakistan. Mukhtaran Mai's "honor revenge" was carried out on the orders of a jirga (a tribal assembly) because her 12-year-old brother, Shakoor was wrongly accused as per the investigation of improper relations with a girl, Salma from another tribe, Mastoi.
Mukhtar’s family at first tried to arrange a settlement of the dispute by asking that Shakoor will marry Salma and that one of the Mastoi[3] tribe will marry Mukhtaran Mai. The Mastoi clan was initially willing to accept the agreement but later refused and on the order of tribal council Mukhtaran Mai was gang-raped by few men from Mastoi clan.  Instead of living a life full of shame or committing suicide, Mukhtaran Mai spoke out and fought for justice in the Pakistani courts.  She is running two schools for girls in her village and a shelter home for abused women. Mukhtaran, who is illiterate but learned the Quran by heart, perceived that only a change in thinking could stop barbaric, obsolete traditions and social customs.
Few words of Mukhtaran Mai are quoted here about the cruel decisions of panchayat.
It’s an everyday matter. These people consider women lower than animals. All of their punishments are just for women.
Case # 2
Abbas from Jatoi killed his wife Mussarrat barbarically at 17-01-2006. Shaukat was a person who lived in neighbor of Mussarat and Abbas’s house. He when saw Mussarrat, he started liking her. One day Shaukat came to Mussarrat’s house and asked her for friendship. Mussarrat got angry and asked him to get out of her house. Mussarrat asked him that if he ever tries to come to her house then she will tell all this to her husband. At 14-01-06 Mussarrat went to attend a marriage ceremony of her friend. Shaukat was also there. He was a video maker and was making video of marriage. After the marriage ceremony Mussarrat came back to her house.
At 17-01-06 in morning ‘Abbas’ (husband of Mussarrat) received an envelope by post. He was at home at that time. He opened the envelope and remained shocked. He found photographs of bad poses of her wife with Shaukat. He got furious. He took an axe and entered in the room where Mussarrat was sitting. He threw all the pictures in front of her. And without listening to what she was saying, he killed her with axe. Not only this, after that he lift a sharp knife and cut her nose , ear, eyes, feet and many parts of her body barbarically. He cut her wife in small pieces. After this he went to Shaukat’s house and tried to kill him with knife. Shaukat told him that all those photos were wrong. He did some technique and made wrong photos and send to him. Shaukat did all this to punish Mussarrat because she refused for friendship with him. Abbas got too much angry after listening this and move forward to kill him. But at that moment Shaukat lift a stick and hit at Abbas’s head. Abbas fell down and lost his senses. People gathered there after hearing their voices. Someone called police. After ten minutes police reached there. Police arrested Abbas and Shaukat.
According to Abbas,
I had a doubt upon the character of my wife and I killed her barbarically.
Shaukat was released on bail after 2 years and Abbas is in jail and got a punishment of death penalty.

Age of Murdered Women

Approximately 66% of murdered women in the cases of honour killing are usually in the age bracket of 16-30 years while 50% of them are married. In fact, due to this custom greater number of women are killed than men. Mostly the killers are close relatives like fathers, brothers, uncles, husbands and first cousins who kill them. A table is given below which depicts the ratio with respect to the age of murdered women.

Giving of Women in Penalty

One famous tradition is the giving of women in a penalty to tribal feuds, leading the poor girls to face an eternal life of humiliation. Reasons behind this penalty are connected with tribal disputes and conflicts on land, water and property. The only solution they have is to give their woman as compensation for their conflicts. Giving of women depends on the nature of disputes, if the conflict is severe kind of then two women or more women have to give in compensation. The beauty of women also matters in this. And the girl who is given for compensation should be unmarried.
According to one of my respondents,
                                       Woman is our personal property

Causes behind Honour Killing

Different causes of honour killings are mentioned below which was found very common in the research area. Major causes are tribal disputes, family disputes, economic decline, lack of education, land, water, property, gender bias of police force, to have a specific woman as compensation, emotional involvement etc.

Subordination of Women

Women are treated as possessions, rather than self-reliant, self-regulating humans. They are bought, sold out, beaten, mutilated and even killed with impunity and social approval. They are dispossessed and disinherited in spite of legal safe guards. Most of the women work in the fields in present locale. The vast majority is bound to work for as long as ten to eleven hours a day without any payment. They work for the whole day with their male family members but they still keep a strict watch on their females. Women are discriminated in many ways in this area. They have no role in decision making; men have the authority to take a decision about any matter. Education is not appreciated for women here and due to poverty, people are not able to educate their daughters. Many people subscribe to the belief that they don’t want girls to go into jobs, or to earn their living, so they do not need to read and write.  The overall literacy rate is also very low at present area.
In Jatoi it is most common view that women should stay at home and her duties are, to do domestic work and serve their husbands and kids. Females are supposed to ideally be submissive and less talkative. A woman who obeys the all right and wrong decisions of her family is considered very good/ideal woman. She should have polite speech and good sex provider. A woman who refuses her husband’s order is not considered good. Being a daughter, sister and wife woman should protect her izzat (respect) and should not take any action which can become the cause of shame for family and especially for brothers and father.

Power Structure within Family                     

As a general rule, father is the chief power holder within the family in Jatoi. He is the breadwinner for the family. He is the guardian of his wife and children. He is thought to be the sole owner of the house in which the family is residing, owner of his wife as the local term maalik (owner) is used for husband and he is the chief representative of the whole family as children are recognized by the reference of their father. His consent is necessary for any activity undertaken within the house. He has the power to investigate any aspect of the lives of all family members. All of these paternal powers are accepted and approved by the culture and society. In the case of demise of the father, in extended families father’s brother inherits that power and in nuclear families the eldest son assumes it. Females are not considered able to inherit power.

Decision-Making within the Family

There are diverse matters to decide about within the family which are generally categorized into management decisions, production decision and the decision about the marriage of children. Production decisions include the decisions about what to produce, how to produce when to produce and for what to produce. Management decisions are related to the affinal ties of off-springs. These kinds of decisions are discussed in detail one by one below.
  1. Management Decisions

To fix affinal ties of off-springs father is an authority. He is the one who announces it within the whole kin group. The process followed to reach these decisions is that after the proposal has been accepted and the date for betrothal is fixed, father of the boy among the whole group of guests asked the father of the girl to give his daughter to his son in marriage and he (the girl’s father) announces that I happily give my daughter to such and such boy, son of such and such person. It is the surety of betrothal. In half of the cases, it is solely the father’s decision that may or may not be according to mother’s wishes. Such men are admired from their manhood. It is considered debasing on the part of men to take the opinion of their wives and daughters in such decisions. Sometimes father forced their daughters to marry with the persons they do not like or with the person's much elder in age. The results of such kinds of marriages are alarmingly dangerous. It is found that girls often commit suicide or elope from their houses with someone else.
          One important thing which is observed is, the distribution of cooked food is decided by mother, for instance in one of my respondent’s home whenever chicken was cooked the leg piece was always given to son if it went to daughter or someone else the consequences were severe for the mother. Such things create an inferiority complex among girls from childhood.
  1. Production Decision

          Production decisions include involving the production of food and agrarian produce, construction of houses, buying technological devices, property and livestock etc. out of these decisions, decisions regarding agrarian produce including the decision as to which crop to sow, what methods to use, construction of new houses or extension, repairing of old houses, buying property (land, house or shop) or livestock all fall with men’s sphere. Women play no part in such decisions. They are bound to obey the decisions of their husbands and fathers.

Intra-Family Relationships    

          Intra-family relationships are very important to understand the causes of honour related violence. Keeping these relations in view we can well judge the phenomenon of honour within the family and at the social level. Intra family relationships have categorized into inter-spousal, inter-sibling and inter-gender relationships.
  1. Inter-Spousal Relationships

          Wife is supposed to be faithful, obedient, subservient and respectful towards her husbands and wives were found to be so in practice. In about ninety percent of my case studies wives were verbally abused by their husbands and according to my respondents, they are supposed not to mind it.
          It is not only considered credit worthy on woman’s part to bear husband’s abusive language it is actually considered to be the criterion of her nobility. She is supposed to get permission from her husband before visiting her natal family or any other place. The husband may investigate his wife in any respect but she is not supposed to question her husband in any case. Wife is supposed to earn a good name for her husband’s honour and he found any doubt about her wife’s character then he has no choice except battering or even killing her. Most of these incidences occurred in economically lower class and illiterate families.
  1. Inter-Sibling Relationships

          Inter-sibling relationships include sister to sister, sister to brother and brother to brother relationships. The structure and dynamics of these relationships are very different. Sisters are friendlier in their behaviour. Brothers are treated as elders by sisters even if they are younger than themselves because they are considered to be the guardians of their sister’s honour. The sisters are always answerable to their brothers. This is found to be the most significant factor in respect of inter-sibling relationships.
  1. Inter-Gender Relationships
          The most significant factor of inter-gender relationships is that males are supposed to be the sole economically active gender. So males are thought to be economically independent and economic providers for females whereas females are their honour and possessed by them. Males are superior and have priority over females. Males are the ones to decide about female education, marriage, employment, share in property etc and females are expected to be obedient which they indeed are at the empirical level.

Reproduction of Relationships and Authority

          Relationship of authority is another important reason for honour crimes. Gender and honour correlate within child training in Jatoi. Mother performs this duty both at conscious and unconscious level by training the male and female children differently. Better food is given to male children. Daughters are trained to serve their brothers. It never seems that male child is sent to fetch water in the presence of a female counterpart while eating. In the case of conflict between children, females are set silent even if they are wronged by the male child. Therefore females, through child training are projected as supervised and males as supervisors. If a girl wants to marry with a person of her own choice brothers consider this dishonour or shame for themselves. And the possible outcome of such daring step of girl is that her brothers kill her.
  1. Worth of Work

          Society assigns its different status and then there are expectations from each status enacted as roles. The expected role of men is outside paid work and women’s expected role is inside the home or unpaid work. All type of household work like cleaning, sweeping and washing etc is considered as women’s work. For the household work, women are not paid and females have internalized the legitimacy of this division of labour and they think it is their natural status. They believe if they were not to do domestic work then their husbands will leave them. Women also believe that in addition to offending obeying their husbands for not doing domestic work they would be punished by God too.
One of my female respondents said
          Women take household work as their religious obligations and       believe that it elevates their status.  
          Women are not paid for domestic work and getting paid for domestic work is a proposition that they cannot even think of. If women do some outside work, they are accompanied by their husbands or any other family male like father, brother, and father-in-law etc then it is the men who receive payments not women.
They say,
          Those women who deal with money in the presence of men are not          considered good.  
          In the case of outside work like cotton and vegetable picking where the supervisors are females’ women workers receive their payments themselves, females’ receive however less money as compared to men for the same work because it is a popular belief among people in Jatoi that women have lesser capacity to work so they deserve less payment.
  1. Paid Jobs

          It is strong belief of males in Jatoi that females should not work outside the home because the males of the house do not like the idea that other men see their izzat (honour) or people pass remarks on them. Men think it is a matter of dishonour if their women go too far away cities and stay there alone. Only a few of my respondents say females should do job outside the homes and they should come back at night, they believe that
          Only men’s earning can eradicate hunger. Women’s earnings cannot do so.
          Women are prevented from entering certain types of jobs in which they have more contact with males because women are considered vulnerable so they should avoid free interaction with males. Teaching, nursing, and female-oriented jobs are considered best for girls because they do not require much interaction with a male.

Division of Patrimony

          According to the local norms, sons are thought to be the sole heirs of all the bequest and domestic legacy of their parents. They are the inheritors of all kinds of property. Mainly property can be divided into two categories i.e. moveable and non-moveable. Moveable property includes public assets, private assets, livestock and jewelry and finance capital. Non-moveable property includes land, houses, and shops. Daughters get no or very little share from the moveable or non-moveable property. What daughters get from their natal family is dowry. There are two points of view about this pattern of division of patrimony. One is that this practice is alright. The arguments given to support this point of view are, firstly, it is well-established convention. Secondly, it causes no troubles among the siblings. Thirdly, sisters give a share to their brothers by will. Fourthly, the maintenance of the property is men’s sphere because women cannot visit banks for maintaining the accounts; go to the city markets for trading the crops or grain etc. They think this practice should continue in the same pattern.
          The second opinion is that this practice is wrong. The reason is that it is against the Sharia[4] (religion). They say that it is the violation of commandments of God but this difference of points of view is just at an ideological level. As far as practice is concerned, both kinds of people follow the conventional pattern of division of patrimony. Daughters do not demand their share. A lot of women are not even aware of their religious property rights or their due share. It is often said that patrimony is divided equally among all of the children. Probing, however, revealed that share is many and children here meant sons only. The reason for daughters not demanding their crucial in their nature. Firstly, it is considered very odd on the part of a woman asking her brothers or parents for her share in patrimony. It is deviance. Such demands are criticized very much and the demanding woman is thought to be without honour.
As one of my female respondent said (in local language),
          If a married woman demands her share, it is assumed that she has been pressurized by her in-laws/her husband. Such husbands and in-laws are thought to be or without honour. Secondly, it is taken for granted that if a daughter gets her share of her patrimony through legal proceedings, it would mean an end of any kind of relationship with her natal family. She would not even invite by her natal family on special occasions like marriages or deaths. I have found some women who demanded their share in the property and they are bearing the consequences of this act in the form of a boycott on part of their natal family as described earlier.

Economic Decline

          The economic decline of the vast population has delayed education and increased the lure to exploit the honour system and kill women for the sake of compensation payment. The stress factors of growing poverty and deprivation contribute to the demand factor. (Najam) The family members especially husband find one way to relief their tensions that are, to beat the wife and torture her mentally, physically and psychologically. They really get relief after doing this. Some husbands torture their wife during pregnancy which shows bad results.

Woman and Emergence of Societal Conflicts

          The concept of izzat (honour) which is attached to women creates many serious conflicts in the community since males have the concept of female as their property so it leads them to be emotional.
One of my respondents said,
              Women, wealth, and land are three major causes of conflict.
          Owing to this common belief females in Jatoi have developed a psyche that they are vulnerable or they are a source of conflicts so they should confine themselves to homes. This practice means observance of purdah (veil) and lack of mobility which in turn gets translated in women not going to school.

Gender Bias of Police Officials

          It is a duty of the police to keep peace among society. Police officials should resolve conflict according to law. But the behaviour of police officials is biased. They also share common thoughts about women.
According to a senior police official,
          The policemen posted in rural areas like Jatoi have grown up in the same          society. Where a woman is considered a property of man so they are honour         killers too. The officials often prepare a weaker case against the killers and    they succeed in finding an escape from capital punishment.

Panchayat Injustice

          Panchayat[5] is the political institution of the local people of my research area which takes a decision about the matters. Discrimination against women is very common in their decisions. I have observed that mostly males have same thinking that women should be subordinate to men, they consider women less intelligent than males and they can’t take their decision in any matter.
          In the cases of emotional involvement which mostly base on suspicion by their male family members and in the cases of love marriages, panchayat (political institution of the local people) has no option except the killing of that woman who is involved in such matters. While a man has one option to get relief that is, to give the money which is demanded by panchayat as the compensation of their act. If money is given by the related person then he is able to get relief from those matters. The amount of money ranges from 50,000 to 400,000                                                                                                        Conclusion
          Women are treated as a subordinate of their male family members. They are deprived of their basic rights. Male members of family do not allow women to get education. Women are killed and violated on the basis of just suspicion. In fact, they are treated like animals. They have no opinion of their own they have no right to claim the share in the property. Legal rights are not provided to them. Even the attitude of police officials is also very biased because they are also grown up in the same environment and give no respect to women. Honour killing is very common practice in Jatoi. Panchayat system is ruling here. Pachayat’s decisions are sometimes very cruel. It seems that all punishments and restrictions are just for women. They are considered as the personal property of their male heads. They are deprived of their basic rights because of their male family members and societal norms which are destroying their lives.

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[1]  Faislo is a local word used for tribal council’s decision.
[2]  Ghairat mand is a word use honourable persons.
[3]  Mastoi is a caste/tribe of Meerwala village
[4]  Sharia is the teachings of Islam.
[5] Punchayat is a tribal council which takes any decision about any matter of relevant tribe.