Where’s the Honour?

Murder for honour is perhaps the staunchest dichotomy and the most dishonourable act to have survived as a scar on the fabric of our society. It is easier to lose count and easiest to start feeling indifferent because the homes that are supposed to protect bury the bodies of women afflicted with a brother’s or a father’s disdain idea of honour. The tragic inci­dent of a woman killed by her brothers in Dera Ismail Khan af­ter she was divorced from her husband is the darkest shade of gender-based violence in the country. Shot dead by her own two brothers and buried in silence to conceal the crime, Shaheen Bibi was vulnerable even within the confines of the four walls.

Tapping the prevalence of such heinous crimes perpetrated by none other but the family members displaces the very no­tion of trust and protection associated with “home” or “fami­ly.” But killings in the name of honour have haunted woman­hood for long. The DI Khan incident is another blood-soaked leaflet and a reminder that blaming women, punishing them, and depriving them of life are crimes that find a cover under the name of “honour.” Inspecting closely, honour killings seem to be the fragment of burying daughters alive. Centuries have passed, and while anyone can denounce the ignorance of burying a girl child the moment she was born, it is unfortunate that a version of that ignorance still lives.

In 2023, till June, 145 women were killed in the name of hon­our by their family members. Not to mention the prevalence of domestic violence and femicide. In a country that is rather prim­itive to the idea of ‘safe homes,’ the erosion of safety in homes is an irony in the open. Yes, the two brothers in the DI Khan incident must be held to account. The victim will not see the day of justice but it might save other women from being victims. Making an ex­ample out of the perpetrators in cases of gender-based violence is a must for a country where these incidents are rampant and a basic threshold of safety barely exists. Moreover, the legal can­vas must be strong, expansive, and non-evasive if we are to en­sure that Pakistan is a liveable country for half of its population.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt