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In the case of murder, capital punishment is an option for both male and female since they are equal in the sight of the Islamic law. However, in the case of accidental death, Islam stipulates that the blood money to be paid for a woman's accidental death is half of that which is paid for a man. The reason that the blood money paid to the heirs of the female victim is half of that paid for a man's killing in the case of accidental killing is because the damage done to the family by the man's death is more of a financial loss. The family has lost a breadwinner who as we explained above is financially responsible for the entire family.
No one denies the remorse of loss of life, but the financial loss to the family by the demise of a male provider is greater compared to the loss of the female member. The family members, whose mother is killed accidentally, for instance, miss their mother's love, care and affection, matters that most men cannot provide as well as the mother, but the financial situation would not be effected as much as when the father is killed. It must be remembered that blood money is not a price or value of the person, but only an approximate compensation for the killed to alleviate the emotional and financial hardship caused to the family by the loss of that person.