A girl in the river, or many girls in the seabed – the ideology of honor killing in Pakistan cannot be drowned. On Thursday, a 19 year old boy from Karachi slit wrists of his 16 year old sister, after stabbing her multiple times in the neck and back – for what? The stupendous ideology of family honor.
Indeed, the epidemic disease of honor killing is spreading like wildfire.
One would’ve thought, after the appreciation and global recognition Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy’s Oscar winning documentary scored, we would’ve worked a knee-jerk reaction on a decrease of such incidents.
Since the Oscars, there have been almost a dozen reported cases of honor killing. The Punjab Government was long overdue in its passing of the Women Protection Bill, but it seems like the other provinces still have not got the memo.
From medieval practices of Kar-o-Kari to the modernized version of stabbing and slitting wrists – Pakistan might never be able to rid this cancer. In 2011, human rights groups reported 720 honor killing cases in Pakistan. That’s 720 lives wasted due to negligence and prehistoric beliefs – in the last 5 years, the amount has almost doubled.
Honor killings in Pakistan are just a fortified version of the cult belief of drowning your daughter at birth, because women, since centuries, have been subject to prejudiced judgement – at infantry or in teenage, the conventions have distorted the position Islam had given women, when the world was against them.
Death before dishonor, the slogan of the 21st century in Pakistan. While we sit and blame the government for us still being a third world country, our people have shamed us to be worse. As insult to injury, the father of the recently murdered 16 year old girl, forgave his son and said he had done the ‘right thing’. Back to square one, drowning your daughters at birth.
Is the appalling concept of honor killing so pleasing because the girl’s life was of no worth? Was it because now, the family, is free from building dowry for her marriage? Or is it because we’ve completely derailed from the teachings of Islam and the position of women in our religion?
It was not just the father of the 16 year old girl – her whole family backed and defended the brother’s actions in the name of honor. From her grandmother, to her younger brother and her uncles – every single family member. It is high time we found out the root cause of such loathsome and outrageous beliefs.
The government needs to step in and create an example of this 19 year old, so the next time an ‘honorable’ family member tries to lay his hands on his wife, sister or mother – his soul trembles from within.