SOAS University of London

Centre for Gender Studies

Feminist Reflections on Researching So-called 'Honor Killings'

Dr. Aisha Gill (Reader in Criminology, Roehampton University)

Date: 12 December 2013Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 12 December 2013Time: 6:30 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G3

Type of Event: Seminar

On 3 August 2012, Shafilea Ahmed’s parents were convicted of her murder, nine years after the brutal ‘honour’ killing. The case offers important insights into how ‘honour’-based violence might be tackled without constructing non-Western cultures as inherently uncivilised. Critiquing the framing devices that structure British debates about ‘honour’-based violence exposes the prevalence of Orientalist tropes and reveals the need for new ways of thinking about culture that avoid the trap of essentialism. Thus, rather than attributing patterns of violence simply to ‘culture’, debates on ‘honour’-based violence should explore the intersection of culture with gender and other axes of difference and inequality. To this end, women who have confronted ‘honour’-based violence must be allowed to speak for themselves about both their individual and shared experiences.

Dr Aisha K. Gill is a Reader in Criminology at University of Roehampton. Her main areas of interest and research are health and criminal justice responses to violence against black, minority ethnic and refugee women in the UK, Iraqi Kurdistan and India. She has been involved in addressing the problem of violence against women at the grassroots level for the past fourteen years and has published widely in refereed journals such as Current Sociology, Feminist Legal Studies, Feminist Review, Journal of Gender Studies, and Women’s Studies International Forum.

Organiser: Gina Heathcote

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