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There is nothing honourable about honour killings: gender, violence and the limits of multiculturalism

Meetoo, Veena; Mirza, Heidi; (2007) There is nothing honourable about honour killings: gender, violence and the limits of multiculturalism. Women's Studies International Forum , 30 (3) pp. 187-200. Green open access

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'Honour killings' are extreme acts of domestic violence culminating in the murder of a woman by her family or community. However only in relation to religious and ethnic communities is the concept of 'honour' invoked as motivation for domestic violence. In this paper we argue that ethnicised women are caught up in a collision of discourses. Women who are victims of honour killings are invisible within the cultural relativism of the British multicultural discourse and the private/public divide which characterises the domestic violence discourse. But since September 11, while ethnicised women have become highly visible, they are now contained and constructed in the public consciousness within a discourse of fear and risk posed by the presence of the Muslim alien 'other'. By developing an effective human rights approach to honour killings it could be possible to move away from the 'gender trap' of cultural relativism within the liberal democratic discourse on multiculturalism.

Type: Article
Title: There is nothing honourable about honour killings: gender, violence and the limits of multiculturalism
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: a) Sociology of race and gender b) Black femininst and postcolonial theoretical perspectives - analysis of gendered multicultural policy c) In a relatively underdeveloped field of enquiry this develops new concepts such as 'collision of discourses' and reworks human rights approaches in the context of Islamophobia and multiculturalism to understand policy and practice with regard to violence and minority ethnic women. d)invited to give keynote to GLA on Girls and Muslim Education 2007; invited to contribute to NUT journal Education Review on social cohesion ; invited to undertake review for BJSE on Muslim education;AHRCand ESRC reviewer on proposals for gender and Islam e) A substantive literature and policy review, including grey literature and consultation with organisations invloved in the issues. f) international peer reviewed Journal g) joint - 2 authors ( Veena 25% conceptual and theoretical input - 50% written input), (Heidi 75% - conceptual and theoretical input - 50% written input)
Keywords: Multiculturalism
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10002018
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