Rep. Nadler Introduces Resolution Condemning So-called "Honor Crimes"

Sep 24, 2002 Issues: Civil Rights

WASHINGTON -- Calling attention to one of the most gruesome forms of crime committed against women, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) joined with other Members of Congress, as well as the National Organization of Women, Amnesty International, and the Feminist Majority to introduce a resolution condemning so-called “honor crimes.”

“Let there be no mistake, there is absolutely nothing ‘honorable’ about these so-called ‘honor crimes,’” said Rep. Nadler.  “The United States Congress must be on record as condemning this deplorable practice.  It is my hope that this resolution will begin a multi-national effort, in earnest, to end this archaic and barbaric behavior.”

"Honor crimes are anything but honorable, and we must act to stop these deplorable crimes against women,” said Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is introducing companion legislation in the Senate.

"There is simply no 'honor' in violent crimes against women," said Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), a cosponsor of the resolution.  "We have a moral obligation to defend the many vulnerable women around the world who lack the basic protections we have in United States.  I hope the U.S. Congress will make clear that so-called "honor crimes" must end."

"Honor crimes is a dangerous oxymoron. Where is the honor in men maintaining control over women's behavior by assaulting, maiming and killing them? These are shameful acts of brutality and nothing more,” said NOW Vice President Terry O’Neill.

“The Feminist Majority salutes Rep. Nadler for bringing this horrific practice to the attention of the US Congress,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority. “We must continue to speak out against the brutal murder of women in the name of family honor and work to protect women's rights around the world. The Senate must act now to approve US ratification of the United Nations’ international treaty for the rights of women (CEDAW) to help ensure that women everywhere will no longer suffer from such unspeakable violence.”

Thousands of women in Pakistan are burned, maimed, and killed every year by husbands and other family members in order to restore the family’s “honor.”  In India, 5000 women per year die from kitchen fires, a euphemism for “honor killing.”  Bangladeshi authorities estimated over 200 women died in 2000 as a result of “crimes of honor.”   The United Nations documented tens of thousands of “honor killings” in 1999, and the trend continues.

In many of these countries, women have no recourse, either there is no law to protect them or existing laws are not enforced.

Rep. Nadler’s resolution would do the following:

-Call on the President to address the issue of so-called “honor killings” with world leaders.
-Require the State Department to include information on “crimes of honor” in its annual human rights report.
-Call for additional U.S. funds to be allocated to law enforcement agencies in other countries to address this horrific phenomenon.

Rep. Nadler has served in Congress since 1992.  He represents the 8th District of New York, which includes parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn.