Gender based violence #femicide. Protector and perpetrator – A male preserve

Reeva SteenkampLet REEVA STEENKAMP’S name never be forgotten, because she was a stalwart spokesperson for Women’s rights and VAW (Violence Against Women)

Femicide is the ultimate form of violence against women and girls and takes multiple forms. Its many causes are rooted in the historically unequal power relations between men and women and in systemic gender – based discrimination.  For a case to be considered femicide there must be an implied intention to carry out the murder and a demonstrated connection between the crime and the female gender of the victim.

So far, data on femicide have been highly unreliable and the estimated numbers of women who have been victims of femicides vary accordingly.
Femicides take place in every country of the world. The greatest concern related to femicide is that these murders continue to be accepted, tolerated or justified – with impunity as the norm. To end femicide we need to end impunity, bring perpetrators to justice, and every individual has to change his/her attitude towards women [SOURCE is a long PDF but #mustread]


Gender-based violence against women is a global phenomenon with appalling incidence everywhere. In 2013 WHO, along with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Medical Research Council, analysed existing data from 80 countries and found that an alarming 35% of women experienced gender-based violence. 30% of women experienced physical and/or sexual violence at the hands of their partner and 38% of murders of women were committed by intimate partners. These statistics do not take account of unreported incidence, nor of the damaging non-physical or non-sexual violence which many women experience [SOURCE]



Love can get you killed in #Pakistan

Pakistan kills lovers















Reuters, Lahore
Saturday, 28 June 2014

A young couple in Pakistan were tied up and had their throats slit with scythes after they married for love, police said Saturday.

The 17-year-old girl and 31-year-old man married on June 18 without the consent of their families in eastern Pakistan’s Punjabi village of Satrah, police said.

The girl’s mother and father lured the couple home late on Thursday with the promise that their marriage would receive a family blessing, said local police official Rana Zashid.

“When the couple reached there, they tied them with ropes,” he said. “He (the girl’s father) cut their throats.”

Police arrested the family, who said they had been embarrassed by the marriage of their daughter, named Muafia Hussein, to a man from a less important tribe.

Cultural traditions in many areas of Pakistan mean that killing a woman whose behavior is seen as immodest is widely accepted.

Immodest behavior that sparked recent killings included singing, looking out of the window or talking to a man who is not a relative. For a woman to marry a man of her own choice is considered an unacceptable insult by many families.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said 869 so-called “honor killings” were reported in the media last year – several a day. But the true figure is probably much higher since many cases are never reported.

More similar incidents reported by Associated Press

Farzana Parveen, 25 stoned to death #Misogyny Honour and Tradition

Recall sad story of Banaz in UK

“I killed my daughter as she had insulted all of our family by marrying a man without our consent, and I have no regret over it,”

Pregnant Pakistani woman stoned to death by family

If you prefer pictures then the Daily Mail Online has gory details

Copied here from the Guardian

Police collect evidence near the body of Farzana Iqbal outside the Lahore high court building

Police collect evidence near the body of Farzana Parveen outside the Lahore high court building. Photograph: Reuters

A pregnant woman was stoned to death by her own family in front of a Pakistani high court on Tuesday for marrying the man she loved.

Nearly 20 members of the woman’s family, including her father and brothers, attacked her and her husband with batons and bricks in broad daylight before a crowd of onlookers in front of the high court of Lahore, the police investigator Rana Mujahid said.

Hundreds of women are murdered every year in Muslim-majority Pakistan in so-called ” honour killings” – carried out by husbands or relatives as a punishment for alleged adultery or other illicit sexual behaviour – but public stoning is extremely rare.

Mujahid said the woman’s father has been arrested for murder and that police were working to apprehend all those who participated in the “heinous crime”.

Another police officer, Naseem Butt, identified the slain woman as Farzana Parveen, 25, and said she had married Mohammad Iqbal against her family’s wishes after being engaged to him for years.

Her father, Mohammad Azeem, had filed an abduction case against Iqbal, which the couple was contesting, her lawyer Mustafa Kharal said. He confirmed that she was three months pregnant.

Arranged marriages are the norm among conservative Pakistanis, who view marriage for love as a transgression.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, a private group, said in a report last month that some 869 women were murdered in “honour killings” in 2013.

But even Pakistanis who have tracked violence against women expressed shock at the brutal and public nature of Tuesday’s killing.

“I have not heard of any such case in which a woman was stoned to death, and the most shameful and worrying thing is that this woman was killed in front of a court,” said Zia Awan, a prominent lawyer and human rights activist.

He said Pakistanis who commit violence against women are often acquitted or handed light sentences because of poor police work and faulty prosecutions.

“Either the family does not pursue such cases or police don’t properly investigate. As a result, the courts either award light sentences to the attackers, or they are acquitted,” he said.

Parveen’s relatives had waited outside the court, which is located on a main downtown thoroughfare. As the couple walked up to the main gate, the family members fired shots in the air and tried to snatch her from Iqbal, her lawyer said.

When she resisted, her father, brothers and other relatives started beating her, eventually pelting her with bricks from a nearby construction site, Iqbal said.

Iqbal, 45, said he started seeing Parveen after the death of his first wife, with whom he had five children.

“We were in love,” he told the Associated Press. He alleged that the woman’s family wanted to swindle money from him before marrying her off.

“I simply took her to court and registered a marriage,” infuriating the family, he said.

Parveen’s father surrendered after the incident and called the murder an “honour killing”, Butt said.

“I killed my daughter as she had insulted all of our family by marrying a man without our consent, and I have no regret over it,” Mujahid, the police investigator, quoted the father as saying.

Mujahid said the woman’s body had been handed over to her husband for burial.

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Systematic Institutionalised Mysogyny

Not my words, but the words of Nazie Eftekhari in a film by Honor Diaries


IHEU premieres “Honor Diaries” film at United Nations

By On 2014-03-21 · Add Comment

A still from Honour Diaries

The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) organized the first screening in continental Europe of the film, Honor Diaries, in order to help highlight the widespread violence that women suffer around the world in the name of “honour”.

A short of the film was screened at the UN Human Rights Council this week—with IHEU in association with the US Center for Inquiry (CFI) and the British Humanist Association (BHA)—in order to help raise awareness of the number of women subjected to honour violence and the nature of that violence, and to foster further discussion at the UN.

Honor Diaries gives a platform to exclusively female voices and seeks to expose the paralyzing political correctness that prevents many from identifying, understanding and addressing this international human rights disaster.

Trailer for Honor Diaries

“Honour-based violence is understood to derive from a desire to control the behaviour of the female, with the honour of a family vested in her body,” said Elizabeth O’Casey, IHEU’s head of delegation at Geneva. “Ultimately, such an interpretation of honour is grounded in an objectification of the woman, with the honour of a family vested in her body. Freedom of movement, the right to education, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, and honour killings are some of the systematic abuses explored in depth.”

The UN has estimated that 5,000 women are murdered by family members each year in “honour killings” but according to women’s advocacy groups the figure could be around 20,000.

The film Honor Diaries has been shown across North America and in the UK, but IHEU’s screening was the first time it was taken to continental Europe.



The screening was followed by an enthusiastic and positive panel discussion between different actors and experts within the field, and the film’s producer, Paula Kweskin, and one of the women featured in the film, as well as a CFI delegate to the UN, Raheel Raza.  The need to keep on pushing in forums such as the UN Human Rights Council and support civil society in their attempts to combat honour violence and protect women was echoed by all.

The role of education was also emphasized by a number of participants, both for women to understand their rights and for societies to question the notion of honour as a tool to legitimize abuse and violence against women. The example of Malala  Yousafzai was mentioned to give context to the difficulty that females can face in gaining an education, and the reason for why so many women remain silent on these issues.

Raheel Raza, noted the problematic overlap between culture and religion and emphasized the need for more religious representatives to condemn honour-based violence and to reinforce the idea that such violence is not required by the religious code. She urged the silent majority to speak out on the issue.

A representative from the South Sudanese Lawyer’s society argued that more men need to be involved in the campaign against honour violence.

A Women’s International Peace and Freedom representative highlighted the dangers of initiatives at the UN Human Rights Council on the protection of the family; she argued that when the family is both the recipient and the defender of honour, resolutions that protect and prioritise the family unit make it much more difficult to look into the issues that take place within it.

Overall, the screening and panel discussion helped raise further awareness of the abhorrent worldwide abuse of women in the name of honour, and contributed to better engagement with many actors and experts already within the field.

More information

Your can organise a screening of the film yourself, by consulting the Honor Diaries website for details and read the film producer’s blog on the event: “The Sky’s the Limit”.

Along with screening the film, IHEU also submitted a written statement to the UN on Honour-Based violence against women. Download the PDF of our statement: “Global violence against women in the name of honour”.

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