In recognition of the upcoming International Women’s Day, Humanity Healing International has launched a petition campaign to bring social awareness about the prevalence of “Honor Killings”, “Acid-Throwing” and other forms of serious domestic abuse that are a dark undercurrent in Pakistani society.
In some circles, death or horrible disfigurement by throwing acid to the face are considered justified actions when a man in Pakistan decides that his wife, his sister or his daughter has maculated the honor of the family. These are heinous crime and far too prolific in Pakistan, where “Honor Killings” and serious abuse of women and girls are everyday events. Most of the victims are defenseless women and they are tortured, grievously assaulted and many times just murdered. Poor and uneducated women must struggle daily for basic rights, recognition, and respect. They live in a culture that defines them by the male figures in their lives, even though these women are often the breadwinners for their families.
In the absence of vigorous governmental action, the fundamentalist patriarchal society sees no need to empower their female citizens, denying them equal civil and social rights. The current justice system in Pakistan is failing the victims by letting the perpetrators “off the hook” with inconclusive court-cases with no concrete help, allowing the victims to continue to be harassed, threatened and being the ones to be persecuted.
This flagrant violation of the basic human right to exist and live without fear must be publicly and forcefully confronted by the international community. The petition drive by Humanity Healing International is a means to pressure the international community by creating an outcry loud enough not to be ignored.
Humanity Healing has coupled the petition drive with two concrete actions in Pakistan. The first is the creation of a safe house for women and girls, called House of Hope, where women who are at risk of these crimes can find refuge while learning vocational skills so that they can live independently. The second is the creation of a grassroots advocacy campaign, Advocacy Against Honor Killings, to teach Pakistani women their legal rights and options.
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