In a move that many human rights and women’s rights advocates see as a positive step forward, Pakistan’s lower house of Parliament passed legislation that proposes death sentences for certain honor killing cases. According to the New York Times, the proposed bill increases the prison term from seven years to life, and death sentences for the most extreme cases of honor killings. In addition, the bill contains language that increases the punishment for a person who forces a woman into marriage to ten years in jail, reports the Associated Press.
There have been 410 reported incidences of so-called “honor” killings, with many more going unreported, from January to September 2004, reports the Associated Press. Earlier this month, hundreds of Pakistani women’s rights and human rights activists and lawmakers demonstrated outside of Pakistan’s parliament to speak out against the government’s inaction on honor killings and violence against women.
Before the bill can become law it has to be approved by the upper house of Parliament and signed by President Pervez Musharraf.