869 Pakistani Women Murdered by Honor Killings in 2013 Alone


The primitive practice of stoning as a disciplinary method seems extremely disturbing in comparison to any current civilized and acceptable way of dealing with a legal or family issue. However, in Pakistan, “hundreds of women are murdered every year in so-called honor killings carried out by husbands or relatives as a punishment for alleged adultery or other illicit sexual behavior:” Even more alarming is that these families consider “illicit sexual behavior” to include when a woman wants to marry a man she loves instead of consenting to an arranged marriage. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan reported this April 2014 that 869 women were murdered in honor killings in 2013.

Farzana Parveen was one of these women; she was pregnant with her husband’s child, a husband that she loved. Her family filed an abduction charge against Farzana’s husband. Farzana was on her way to the court to contest the abduction when her family stoned her to death outside of the Lahore, Pakistan courthouse. The family was not swayed by the broad daylight or crowd of onlookers that accompanied their crime and Farzana’s father, Mohammad Azeem was arrested for murder immediately. “Nearly 20 members of Parveen’s extended family” were present for the attack. Farzana’s husband, Mohammad Iqbal, stated that the family did not approve of the marriage because Iqbal did not give the family money for Farzana’s hand in marriage. Instead, the couple took the seemingly normal route of registering for marriage at the local courthouse. A police investigator stated that Azeem was quoted as saying, “I killed my daughter as she had insulted all of our family by marrying a man without our consent, and I have no regret over it.”

Human rights lawyer, Zua Awan, regretfully stated that Pakistani criminals like Azeem, who “commit violence against women, are often acquitted or handed light sentences.” How is it that this man who has admitted to murdering his daughter, and did so in broad daylight with many witnesses, will not be sentenced accordingly? The large numbers of women being murdered in this way is heartbreaking and should not be ignored. Do you think there are grounds for world courts to address the prejudice behind this gender related mass murdering? Are Pakistan’s feeble efforts at punishing these criminals acceptable? Are these murder numbers indicative of a Pakistani majority view that women are property?



Human Righs Commission of Pakistan




  1. This type of behavior and lack of punishment is nauseating. Not only does they government know, without any doubt, who committed this heinous murder, but there is a crowd of witnesses and a confession made by the girl’s own father. In this day, Pakistan, and other countries that follow suit should be using modern practices of punishment that does not include violence against women. Just because a girl marries someone without her family’s consent is not justification for murder. Moreover, this “honor killing” described, is because her husband did not give the family money to marry. This is an antiquated practice and should not be condoned by any government. Arguably, if the husband paid up, the girl would still be alive today. People should not have to be extorted to live. As such, Azeem deserves a harsh punishment, may be even death himself, but certainly he should not be acquitted for this disgraceful crime against his own blood. Until a harsh punishment is handed down, there will be no deterrence, and hence the crime will continue.

  2. After reading this I was horrified at the views that some cultures around the world can have. In this specific case, it is terrible that families themselves are stoning their own daughters. It all stems from the paternalistic views towards women and in Pakistan, those views are not only in families but even in the authorities themselves. As you mentioned, even people committing these crimes seem to get light sentences and it is all because men and the ones handing these sentences down and the act is not viewed as sufficiently blameworthy to impose tougher sentences. The UN or courts of human rights should be able to intervene, if Pakistan is part of some treaty. Even so, every country has a duty to protect its citizens, including their women. I hope that the shocking number of deaths of women catches the attention of international organizations and something gets done.

  3. It is truly heartbreaking to read such cases in the 21st century. What is more disturbing is the fact that Pakistani government intentionally or recklessly fails to impose appropriate sentences for honor killings. As a result, the male dominant society sees every right to control acts of women in all areas of their lives. Women have no right to go to school, love, or get married with a man whom they love. In those countries, women are forced to live a life that is planned for them by their families. The number of deaths in 2013 is shocking and quite disturbing. International community has to do something to prevent occurrences of honor killings in Pakistan, including forcing the Pakistani government to take affirmative action to protect women population. This kind of attitude towards women basically prevents them to exercise their fundamental rights (such as in this case, right to marry) freely and forces women to live the life which they do not want. Paying money to a woman’s family to receive permission for marriage must be abandoned completely in Pakistan. This tradition has no basis in Islam, but more of a cultural tradition, which forcibly puts women in a box where they cannot move. I hope that international community stops watching occurrences of these kinds of honor killings and actually starts doing something to prevent this inhuman treatment against women.

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