Femicide is the killing of a female (woman or girl) specifically due to her gender.
Honor killing, on the other hand, is the killing of a family member (in most cases a female) due to the fact that they have brought dishonor upon their family and not due to their gender.
Femicide is most notable in China where female babies and young girls are often killed by their parents due to the one child policy. It is preferable in Chinese culture to have a son to inherit the family name, status as well as property. Girls do not carry this privilege and are only worthy to improve a family’s status through an arranged marriage. Female babies are therefore often killed in order to give a couple the chance to try for a son.
However, this form of regulation has become disadvantages in this Asian society. The lack of marriageable girls or women has caused the price for a respectable bride to rise and has also resulted in many men being unable to find a suitable marriage partner.
Honor killings are largely practiced in conservative Middle Eastern countries. There are many different reasons that can be presented for an honor killing from simply dressing incorrectly to committing adultery. However, adultery is the most common reason for an honor killing. Crimes such as rape can also be used as a reason for honor killing.
It is called an honor killing as the process is meant to restore honor to the husband and family of the woman who has been considered to have been immoral. Honor killings are highly controversial and are commonly enforced privately or by society or religious leaders rather than by a judicial system. This does not mean those honor killings are legal in most countries where this is practiced. Women can be severely injured, beaten or murdered if they bring dishonor on their household.
One of the most common forms of honor killing is forced suicide. Forced suicide is where a woman who has been considered to have committed an immoral act is manipulated or coerced into killing herself. Manipulation can be in the form of persuading her to commit suicide in order to restore honor to her family.
Coercion can take the form of threats to her personal safety, health or even life or those of her family making it preferable for her to kill herself rather than suffer or let her loved ones suffer the consequences of her dishonor.
However, in some cases, no immoral act may be committed and evidence may be fabricated. In other cases, the murder of a woman may be concealed as a suicide. Most female suicides are not investigated in depth making it an easy solution for a husband or other person to kill a woman.
Both femicide and honor killings are highly controversial and contribute to the subjugation and oppression of woman in many different types of societies and cultures around the world.