In January, a 22 year old Pakistani woman named Guryia from a very poor family of Garishaho Lahore, Pakistan, had acid thrown in her face by her husband, blinding her in one eye, seriously damaging the other, causing significant respiratory damage and melting her nose and much of the flesh off her face. She was then cast out into the street to die. As this was a domestic issue, the husband has not been charged.
In recognition of the upcoming International Women’s Day, Humanity Healing International has started a Facebook campaign asking individuals to change their profile picture on International Women’s Day, 8 March 2013, to the International Women’s Day Say NO to Honor Killings badge to show support with the intent to create international pressure to end this barbaric and dishonorable practice in Pakistan and other nations that still allow it.
In addition, 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 Pakistani culture, a woman is often defined by the male figures in her life. In some segments of Pakistani society, a woman’s father, husband or brother may decide that she has insulted the family’s honor, often for “disobedience” of some kind that would be considered a basic right of a woman elsewhere, such as marrying someone of her own choosing; and punish her by death or by horrible disfigurement by throwing acid on her.
In many instances, these crimes are seen as “domestic issues” and, as such, the police do not wish to get involved. In the event the crime is prosecuted, the current justice system in Pakistan is failing the victims by letting the perpetrators “off the hook” with inconclusive court-cases.
The Facebook Profile Picture drive and the Say NO to Honor Killings Petition drive are means to pressure the international community by creating an outcry loud enough not to be ignored, in order to bring international pressure to bear on the Pakistani government and judicial system.
Humanity Healing has coupled these two awareness drives 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 to teach Pakistani women their legal rights and options.
To get the Facebook badge, visit: https://www.facebook.com/humanityhealing
To sign the petition on Causes, visit: http://www.causes.com/actions/1735912-say-no-to-honor-killings-in-pakistan
To sign the petition on the Humanity Healing website, visit: http://humanityhealing.org/petitions/say-no-to-honor-killings
To watch the video on Youtube, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LB2-TLUy9Y
To learn about the House of Hope, visit: http://humanityhealing.org/current-projects/pakistan/house-of-hope
To learn about the Advocacy Campaign, visit: http://humanityhealing.org/current-projects/pakistan/advocacy-against-honor-killings