Statement by a number of Women.s Rights and Gender Equality Advocates Against “honor killings”.

In the light of the increased and systematic violence against women and girls by men in Iran under the pretext of preserving the family or tribal “honor” and the inadequacy of the law and the judicial system to prevent such crimes and the discrimination in law to punish the perpetrators according to the crime, we, a group of women’s rights and gender equality activists have initiated a campaign to “Stop Honor Killings”.

Victims of “honor killings” are often women and young girls who refuse the imposed rules within the family or the tribe and seek freedom of choice and as a result are murdered by men in the most brutal methods; sickle, ax, poison, etc.  Ancient tribal and ethnic traditions under the silence or the support of religious and judicial institutions, dominant culture in the society, and the silence of the state-owned mass media are the bedrock of such crimes.

Women and children along with other marginalized groups of gender, ethnic and religious minorities do not enjoy the support of law and the judicial authorities and many of the “honor” based murders are not even registered in the official data.

The Sharia laws especially articles in the Islamic penal code along with the discriminatory attitudes of the lawmakers and the judiciary system have given men the liberty to murder women with impunity. The father of Roomina Ahsrafi, the 14 years old teenager who killed her with an ax was sentenced to only 9 years imprisonment and Fatemeh Barhi’s murderer was freed after only 2 months.

We believe the law must support and preserve the whole of society regardless of gender, religious beliefs, ethnicity, and race. The ancient traditions and practices in law must be replaced by just and equal clauses for all. In some cases, the law must be ahead of the society’s dominant culture so the populace learns through the practice of law.

We demand an end to the murder of women with the masculine attitude of preserving “honor”. This will not be achieved unless it is enshrined in the educational system and popular literature and raising consciousness through mass media and the elimination of discriminatory laws against women based on the International Human Rights Declaration.

We demand the Islamic Republic to protect women at risk by providing safe houses throughout the country with easy access.

We urge the Islamic Republic to join the Convention on the Elimination of Violence Against Women. We also urge them to implement the Convention to Preserve the Rights of Child which Iran is a signatory.

We will join hands with our sisters in the neighboring countries who encounter the same situations in order to put an end to the sufferings of women and girls by men in the geography of the region.



Elehe Amani, Akhtar Bazazi, Afsaneh Ebadi, Ewin Mostafazadeh, Pardis Ghandehari, Parvaneh Hosseini, Parvaneh Shahriari, Parvaneh Azimin, Parvin Zabihi, Parvin Malek, Taraneh Roosta , Javanmir Mehrabi, Rezvan Moghadam, Roja Kia, Rouhi Shafii, Rouhi Shirani, Roya Kashefi, Zahran Rahimpour, Jila Golanbar, Sahar Beitmashad, Sorur Sarvari, Sorieh Sahabi, Soheila Vahdati, Suda Alimadadnejad, Sudeh Rad, Sudi Farokhnian, Sholeh Zamini, Shahla Entezari, Shahla Jahanbin, Shahin Zabihi, Shahin Navaie, Sabri Najafi, Tahereh Badri, Alieh Eghdamdust, Farkhondeh Jafari, Fereshdeh Abadi, Fariba Boghrati, Fariba Davoudi-Mohajer, Farida Razavi, Farideh Ferasat, Farideh Mousapour, Kowsar Fathi, Maryam Ahari, Maryam Rahmani, Maryam Moradi, Maryam Moghadampour, Monireh Kazemi, Mehrangiz Kar, Mehri Jafari, Mahshid Pegahi, Mitra Mahmoudi, Mina Khanlarzadeh, Nazenin Amani, Nazi Ardalan, Nahid Tavasoli, Nahid Nosrat, Nasrin Nakhshab, Nayereh Towhidi, Nilufar Damavandi, Hajar Kabiri, Homa Moradi

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