This article critiques the rape laws of Pakistan from an Islamic gender-sensitive point of view. The author argues that the Hudood Ordinance and the Zina Ordinance, which criminalise extra-marital sexual relations, do not follow the gender-egalitarian spirit of Islamic laws, but rather are tainted by cultural patriarchy.

This article conducts a systematic review of the published literature other sources on karo-kari and related forms of honour killing or violence against women. Media and non-governmental organization reports are utilized for case studies and analysis. Although legally proscribed, socio-cultural factors and gender role expectations have given legitimacy to karo-kari within some tribal communities. In addition to its persistence in areas of Pakistan, there is evidence that karo-kari may be increasing in incidence in other parts of the world in association with migration.

The study seeks to identify the overall impact of tribal jirga system on the cases of karo kari in Sindh. Major findings of the study show that the codes, rules, regulations as well as verdicts of tribal jirgas are opposed to not only the formal law and the constitution of Pakistan but also international standards of human rights. In the eyes of tribal jirga, killing a woman in the name of honour is not a crime.

During the course of activities initiated by Shirkat Gah under its “Women, Law and Status Programme” involving community based organisations in Sindh, various incidents of a cruel custom came to surface due to which the lives of countless women and girls are sacrificed. Further investigation revealed that the roots of this custom, known as karo kari, are deeply entrenched and that motives behind murders taking place in its name are also surprisingly varied.

This study sets out to explore honour killings in the context of human rights, as a violation of international human rights law meriting the accountability of states. The study aims at providing an analysis of honour killings as a violation of human rights law, identifying the human rights provisions that may be invoked in regard to honour killings and analysing the various approaches that can be taken in order to achieve international accountability for honour killings.

Pakistan has one of the highest incidences of honour killings in the world. This is a major human rights issue that has received little attention outside of human rights groups and women activist networks. This paper provides a critical reassessment of honour killings in Pakistan and argues that the prevalence of honour killings is due to fact that traditional justice prevails over jural law. Since the late 1970s, aspects of traditional justice have been incorporated in the Pakistan Penal Code, thereby sanctioning homicide of men and women charged with adultery and fornication.

During the course of history, and in more contemporary times, a large number of honour killings have been reported from the Mediterranean, Latin American, and certain Muslim societies. However, research suggests it is an error to view the practice as being peculiar to a certain geographical region or belief system. Pakistan is one of the countries where the incidents of honour killing are among the highest in the contemporary world.

The aim of this article is to examine the various routes a victim of honor related violence might take to seek justice, so as to assess where the impediments within the available systems lie and what hurdles face women victims in particular.

Using the example of Pakistan, this paper highlights the classic struggle taking place in many Islamic societies today, as progressive efforts for reform, particularly on the issue of women’s rights, are met by fundamentalist opposition and government inaction. This paper discusses the contours of the problem of honor crimes with a particular focus on Pakistan’s honor crimes legislation and analyzes the various factors contributing to both the practice of honor crimes, as wellas government resistance to reform.

This paper discusses the situation of VAW in the region of South Asia, employing examples from all of its composite countries (including Pakistan). South Asia continues to have the worst indicators with regard to violence against women in the world. In addition to the common problems of violence against women, South Asia has particular cultural and religious practices that also accentuate the problem of VAW in the region. The general low status of women in the region and the entrenched nature of discriminatory structures have led to what is seen as a lifecycle of VAW.

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