Podcast: Women Confront 'Honor Killing' in Pakistan Presented by magd hussein


In 2012, she was the first Pakistani to ever win an Oscar. In 2016, at the February academy awards, she won her second for best documentary movie “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness”. The movie discusses the Honor Killing issue in Pakistan. Honor Killing is the practice of murdering a relative for being a supposed shame on the family. It includes: Infidelity, seeking a divorce, refusing an arranged marriage and being raped.

THE MOVIE:”A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness

An 18 year old woman called Saba who survived an Honor Killing at the hands of her father and uncle. The reason: she loved a man against their wills. She shared her story on BBC. She said: “It was a dark and moonless night. When they stopped the car by the canal, I asked them:” What are you going to do?”, They slapped me and fired at me, they wanted to kill me and when one bullet passed through my hand, they fired again. This time it graised my cheek and that’s when I fainted. They threw me into the canal. It was only when I hit the water, that I came around, I grabbed a hold on some weeds and pulled myself out.”

One more detail about Saba’s story that happens often

Her attackers ended up walking free . The law on Pakistan allows the victims and their families to forgive the criminals. At first, she was determined to see them punished. Saba struggled with decision. But ultimately the social dynamics of her family and her village decided for her and she gave legal forgiveness. That law has to change. The prime minister even vowed to change the law and eradicate honor killing.

The prime minister: “We have deeply appreciated what shermine have taken to make this powerful and moving documentary that shows vividly that there is no honor in honor killing. In fact, there could be nothing more degrading than to engage in brutal murder and to refer it as an honor.”

Education is key to address this violence, both for men and women

Education, both for men and women. Girls are held back from e-co-opportunities for schooling. Education for men: there are male role models helping women's rights. Their voices are the ones which must be amplified. One of these voices was the man the Saba risked her life to marry. The obaid’s film was also meant to be a love story.

The technology touches another dynamic in influencing honor killings

Technological development is naming more people in this country to have more picture phones. In 2012, for instance, 4 young women in a Pakistani village, were tortured and killed because of a cellphone video that shows them singing and clapping with two men in a gathering. The violence against women will increase because: 1.The telephone penetration & internet penetration; they are not isolated anymore. They are demanding more and more rights.

“Few years ago, if you've asked me: are women being targeted in Pakistan? I would have said no. But clearly we are and that is why women are being shot at. And that shows us that women are making some sort of noise that is making some people uncomfortable.”
Created By
Magd Gamal

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