Pakistani Womens Rights


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Anna Showalter's PLHS human rights violations project for Wagner. Enjoy!

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Pakistani Womens Rights

  1. 1. Honour Killings in Pakistan An Issue of Women’s Rights Anna Showalter Hour 5
  2. 2. What is an Honour Killing? <ul><li>A Middle Eastern and South Asian cultural practice where murder, usually of a female family member, is committed by male family members as a response to a slight upon the so-called honour of the family. The murder intends to defend the family honour they feel is lost by a specific action deemed dishonorable by religious and tribal standards, such as adultery. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Honour Killings in Pakistan <ul><li>Honour killings are justified in the name of religious tradition </li></ul><ul><li>These traditions have become blurred and corrupted, allowing for widespread abuse </li></ul><ul><li>Women and young girls are being killed by husbands, fathers, and brothers who feel shame as been brought upon their family </li></ul><ul><li>Authorities blame woman for their deaths, believing that they deserve punishment for their actions and murder is a justifiable action taken by men </li></ul><ul><li>Similar practices of honour killings have been known since ancient Roman times </li></ul>
  4. 4. Honour Killings in Pakistan <ul><li>Hundreds of women die each year in Pakistan as a result of Honour Killings </li></ul><ul><li>Many killings go unreported, placing some estimates of those actually dying in the thousands </li></ul><ul><li>One in every five homicides in Pakistan are related to an honour killing </li></ul>
  5. 5. Reasons behind Honour Killings <ul><li>A threat of violence involves every aspect of a women’s life, with most living in daily fear of being attacked </li></ul><ul><li>A mere suspicion can lead to murder for a woman, such as… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A rumor spread in a village </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An accusation by a jealous husband </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In extreme cases a man’s dream about his wife’s adultery </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Reasons behind Honour Killings <ul><li>Women face death by shooting, burning or being slaughtered with axes </li></ul><ul><li>Women are most often killed as a result of </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Being suspected of having an illicit relationship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attempting to marry a man of her choice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Divorcing an abusive husband </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coming forward about being raped </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All of these reasons go against the ideas and beliefs that men are not in the wrong and that the woman has brought her own misfortune upon herself </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Aftermath of Honour Killings <ul><li>Women are never given a chance to explain or clear up any misunderstandings </li></ul><ul><li>Tradition in Pakistan dictates that the only way to restore honor to a man is by killing the offending woman </li></ul><ul><li>Police and law enforcement almost always take the side of the man in honour killings, and men are rarely prosecuted </li></ul><ul><li>When men are convicted of murder, the judiciary ensures that men receive a light sentence, further promoting that men can kill female family members without worrying about consequences </li></ul>
  8. 8. Aftermath of Honour Killings <ul><li>With lack of women’s shelters and places to hide for the accused, any woman attempting to travel on her own to seek refuge is an easy target for abuse by police, strangers, and male family members on the hunt for her </li></ul><ul><li>Because Women have few options to turn to in order to seek help suicide appears to be the best option to escape the persecution </li></ul>
  9. 9. What is being done to stop Honour Killings? <ul><li>The United Nations (UN) Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women has ratified with the government of Pakistan to stop honour killings and discrimination against women </li></ul><ul><li>Despite this ratification, the Pakistan government has failed to make significant changes to women’s rights and equality. Women are still under the subjugation of male family members and male members of society </li></ul>
  10. 10. What is being done Cont.? <ul><li>Amnesty International is also urging the government of Pakistan to honor their obligations under international law to protect women </li></ul><ul><li>Amnesty International has suggested reviewing judicial practices and criminal laws that allow men to escape criminal persecution after murdering a female family member </li></ul>
  11. 11. Well-Known Honour Killings from Pakistan <ul><li>Jamilla, a mentally challenged 16-year old girl, was shot dead in March 1999 after she told her tribe that she had been raped. The tribal council of elders decided that she should die as she had brought shame on the tribe. </li></ul><ul><li>Ghazala was set on fire and burned to death, reportedly by her brother, in Joharabad, Punjab province, on 6 January 1999, because her family suspected she was having an ‘illicit’ relationship with a neighbor. Her burned and naked body reportedly lay unattended on the street for two hours as nobody wanted to have anything to do with it. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Well-Known Honour Killings from Pakistan <ul><li>On 6 April 1999, 29-year-old Samia Sarwar was shot dead in her lawyer’s office in Lahore, in a killing openly carried out with her mother’s participation. Her seeking divorce after 10 years of marital abuse shamed her parents so deeply that they instigated her murder. According to a witness, Samia’s mother walked away from the murder “cool and collected as though the woman slumped in her own blood was a stranger”. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Bibliography <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>