Several thousand women a year are victims of honor killings. Numerous murders are ruled an accident, suicide, or family dispute, if they're reported at all. Police and government officials are often bribed to ignore crimes and hinder investigations. A woman beaten, burned, strangled, shot, or stabbed to death is often ruled a suicide, even when there are multiple wounds. Many women are killed and buried in unmarked graves; their very existence is removed from community and clan records. The fact that so many murders go unreported is indicative of the status of women and the role of culture in fundamentalist Islamic countries. "It shows that women are still sometimes seen as commodities that are owned by men," says Carolyn Hannan, director of the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women. Her virginity is considered their responsibility, and she is dominated by men her entire life--first her father, then her husband, and finally her sons. When a woman's chastity is in question, her family feels the shame, even if she is raped or the rumors prove unsubstantiated. As a result of "her" shame, the extended family is compromised. It will be difficult to arrange marriages for her unwed sisters, and her male relatives will be scorned and ridiculed until they kill her.
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from the article: From dust to dust