SOAS University of London

Centre of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law

Project Publication

'Honour': Crimes, Paradigms and Violence Against Women
Edited by Lynn Welchman and Sara Hossain

This volume brings together the practical insights and experiences of individuals and organisations working in diverse regions and contexts to combat 'crimes of honour'. Authors examine strategies of response to such manifestations of violence against women, focussing largely on 'honour killings' and interference with the right to marry, and the related use and legal treatment of the defence of 'honour' and 'provocation' in different countries of Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and South Asia. Commonalities and differences are drawn out in thematic analyses that include the international human rights framework. This timely book is distinctive in approach and content, highlighting activist and practice-orientated academic perspectives from both the North and the South. The volume gives voice to the struggle to locate 'crimes of honour' firmly within the international framework of violence against women; rather than positioning these abuses as specific to particular cultures or communities, it examines from a primarily legal focus how local strategies are developed and implemented, including how paradigms of 'honour' are interrogated. The volume is intended to serve as a resource in addressing 'honour crimes' and, more broadly, violence against women, and will be of interest to a multi-disciplinary academic audience as well as to lawyers, policy-makers and activists.

Published by Zed Books (London), the book was launched in London in January 2006. It is available in book shops in the UK and the US and can also be ordered directly from the publisher. The Australia and New Zealand edition of the book was published by Spinifex Press; and the Indian edition, published by Zubaan Books, is available at, see links on the right. The book has also been translated into Kurdish, and is currently (2013) being translated into Turkish with an additional Preface by Welchman and Hossain.


International: 'Honour' and its interstices (AWID)

A review of "'Honour': Crimes, Paradigms, and Violence Against Women", edited by Lynn Welchman and Sara Hossain. For most, the term 'honour crime' conjures up a multitude of images, primarily abstract and focusing on the murder of women by their male kin for allegedly offending the 'honour' of the family.

AWID, WLUML News & Views, 22 May 2006 -