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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 December, 2004, 10:11 GMT
Debate opens on 'honour killings'
By Lars Bevanger
BBC News, Stockholm

Fadime Sahendal, murdered by her father in Sweden
Fadime Sahendal was murdered by her father in Sweden
Delegates from around the world are meeting in Sweden to explore ways of combating so-called "honour killings".

The international conference will also investigate other forms of patriarchal violence against women.

The UN estimates 5,000 women are killed in the name of honour each year, mainly in the Middle East and Asia.

The honour killing of a woman is usually carried out by her own relatives, when they believe she has brought shame on the family.

This conference gathers key politicians from countries where such violence is thought to occur on a regular basis, and from other countries where patriarchal violence against women is perhaps less visible.

They will try to map the extent of the violence and come up with ways to prevent it from happening in the first place.

Women fleeing

The Swedish government organising the conference admits that it is a tough task.

Honour killings are not only a crime committed in less developed countries.

This country was shocked three years ago when a 26-year-old girl, Fadime Sahendal, who was originally from Kurdistan, was murdered by her own father.

He said she had brought shame on her family by going out with a Swedish man.

Since then, youth shelters here say the number of young women fleeing violent men has been on the increase.

The organisers of this conference are keen to underline that patriarchal violence does not belong to any one religion, and that it is wrong to perceive it to be a problem mainly in the Islamic world.

'Honour killings' law tightened
26 Oct 04 |  South Asia
Young Kurd's murder shocks Sweden
26 Jan 02 |  Media reports

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