Research into honour-based violence makes international impact

16 12 2010

Press release issued 8 December 2010

Research into ‘honour-based’ violence (HBV) and killings in Iraqi Kurdistan and the UK by Professor Gill Hague and Dr Nazand Begikhani from the University’s School for Policy Studies, together with colleagues from the University of Roehampton, has earned plaudits from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the UN.

HBV, in which violence is carried out against family members (most often women) by other family members (most often men) in the name of honour, has been identified internationally as a distressing crime and an abuse of human rights.

The study (‘An investigation into honour-based violence and honour-based killings in Iraqi Kurdistan and the Kurdish diaspora in the UK’) assessed the nature and extent of honour-based violence (HBV) and honour killings in Iraqi Kurdistan and the UK Kurdish Diaspora, and evaluated the impact of these practices on women’s experiences in Kurdish communities. This included both attention to cultural and family traditions, and to the representations that appear in the media of Kurdish ideas and values in relation to gender relations and family honour.

The Kurdistan Regional Government supported the study in order to get a better understanding of the nature and consequences of this violence and abuse.

The study, the first of its type in the UK and across Iraqi Kurdistan, has already led to interventions in Iraqi Kurdistan, namely through the passing several notable legal amendments to reduce violence against women and crimes in the name of honour.

Speaking at the launch of the report, Minister for the Middle East, Alistair Burt, said:

‘Honour crimes have no place in a modern society and I have been heartened by the Kurdistan Regional Government’s efforts to crack down on them. This report marks an important step. The recommendations offer a roadmap to combating honour-based violence in Iraqi Kurdistan. The UK will continue to work with the Kurdistan Regional Government in realising this goal.’

Details of the project in both English and Kurdish are available from the School of Policy Studies website.

Please contact Dara O’Hare for further information.



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