Friday, April 09, 2004

Some News from Pakistan

About honor killings:

A young woman from the Sindh Province of Pakistan has appealed to Pakistan's President Musharraf for protection from being killed in the name of "honor." According to IRIN News, Rozina Ujjar was divorced by her husband for standing outside of her house at the same time that a 15-year-old boy passed by. After her husband divorced her a local assembly of tribal leaders declared that the woman was "kari" (subject to honor killing).

The only way I have ever been able to understand the logic of honor killings is to think of someone I once knew whose whole self-esteem was tied with his cars. The cars had to be new and expensive. If they got as much as scratched in the parking lot, he'd sell them off immediately and buy a new one. He saw his own value in the value of his cars. Perhaps the honor killing system works the same way: the reputation of the family is based on the sexual purity of its women. When this purity is suspect, so is the family's honor, and the solution is to get rid of the offending female member. Of course this logic means that women are seen as property, but that view has a lot of historical precedence in most countries of the world.

Pakistan may be trying to do something about honor killings:

A bill specific to honor killings is supposed to be introduced to Parliament that will amend the current Criminal Procedure Code and Pakistan's Penal Code. However, according to the Daily Times of Pakistan, last week women members of Parliament protested against the assemblies for not allowing a debate on the bill.