Lives at risk: multiculturalism, young women and ‘honour’ killings

Veena Meetoo and Heidi Safia Mirza

in Growing up with risk

Published by Policy Press

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9781861347329
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302469 | DOI:
Lives at risk: multiculturalism, young women and ‘honour’ killings

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This chapter examines the uneasy relationship between policies designed to recognise diversity and the need to protect people from abuse carried out in the name of ‘traditional values’. The issue of so-called ‘honour killings’ of young women is used to examine policy responses to risk and gender-related violence in minority ethnic communities in Britain. The chapter argues that the risks which some young women face are heightened by multicultural policies, which can engender non-intervention when dealing with domestic violence that is seen as rooted in cultural and religious practices. It provides a critique of structural and institutional racism and sexism, which can lead, on the one hand, to sensationalising particular cases of violence, thus entrenching stereotypes of some cultures, particularly Muslim, as backward and oppressive, while on the other hand ignoring risk situations in the private sphere of the family.

Keywords: young women; gender-related violence; minority ethnic communities; risk assessment; multicultural policies; domestic violence; racism; sexism

Chapter.  6185 words. 

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