[UPDATE, 5/28:] The New York Times reports that Farazana Parveen was three months pregnant when she was killed. [New York Times]
A 25-year-old woman was murdered by nearly 20 family members in Pakistan today because she “dishonored” the family by marrying the man she loved.
Faranza Bibi was stoned to death in a so-called “honor killing” in broad daylight while waiting outside of a Lahore court with her husband. Faranza had intended to challenge a kidnapping charge filed by her family. She intended to tell the court she willingly married the man of her own choosing, Muhammad Iqbal, and did not want an arranged marriage to her cousin. Before the court opened, her father, brothers and former fiance descended upon her with bricks and sticks. Faranza was pronounced dead at a hospital from severe head injuries. Iqbal managed to escape the attack. Keep reading »
Pakistan’s newest TV superhero, “Burka Avenger,” is not only the first animated female superhero for the country, but a woman with a mission. That mission is to promote girl’s education in the country, on and off screen. The new show, from Pakistani pop star Haroon, features Jiya, a teacher at an all girl’s school who protects the school from various villains, including a corrupt politician and an evil, anti-women’s education magician. Jiya dons a burka at night and quite literally uses her teaching tools, including pencils and books, to foil her enemies’ schemes and keep the school open for her students. Read more on The Mary Sue…
Here’s a film that will bring tears to your eyes: the story of Malala Yousafzai, the then 14-year-old Pakistani girl who was attacked by the Taliban for advocating on behalf of girls’ education, is set to become a documentary! After being shot at last October in her head and neck while on her way to school, Malala was airlifted out of Pakistan to a hospital in the UK to recuperate. She has persevered despite her extensive injuries and serves a huge inspiration to young girls and women throughout the world as she continues to fight for access to education for everyone. Davis Guggenheim, director of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and “Waiting for Superman,” will direct the film Malala’s documentary, which will follow her attack, her recovery, and the activism that has earned her a nomination for both the Nobel Peace Prize and for the International Children’s Peace Prize. Congrats, Malala! [Guardian UK]
Pakistan, Nigeria, and Kenya are some of the world’s most vehemently anti-gay countries. Coincidentally enough, these countries also have some of the highest Google searches for gay porn. Searches like “shemale sex,” “teen anal sex,” “man fucking man,” “gay sex pics,” and “anal sex pics” have the some of the highest volumes of searches in these countries. Pakistan and Nigeria rank in the top five on Google searches for “gay sex pics”and “anal sex pics” while Kenya ranks number one for these searches. It makes a lot of sense that people in these countries would turn to the Internet for their needs. Since homosexuality is so widely opposed, there are very few openly gay people. That does not, however, mean that there are any fewer gay people. Unable to foster healthy and public homosexual relationships, gay people predominantly restrict their sexuality to Google searches. Additionally, since homosexuality is neither commonplace nor understood, there is also a fascination with it. People tend to be curious about what is forbidden, and apparently gay sex is no exception. [Huffington Post; Google Trends; Pew Global] [Photo of URL search via Shutterstock]
On Sunday and Monday you’re binge-watching “Arrested Development,” I get it. But set your DVRs now for Tuesday night at 10 p.m. for “Outlawed In Pakistan,” a new documentary airing on the PBS program “Frontline.” The film by Habiba Nosheen and Hilke Schellmann, follows a teenaged girl named Kainat Soomro, who accused four men of gang rape at age 13 at great risk to her own life. Like other women who try to go through Pakistan’s justice system, she’s found herself being shamed, doubted, and threatened by a culture that blames the rape victim more than her perpetrators. One family member of one of Kainat’s accused rapists even told the two female filmmakers, “There will be murders over this.”
You can learn more about the film at PBS.org. It will air on Tuesday night and then be viewable online. I know I’ll be watching. [Frontline: Outlawed In Pakistan]
Welcome to Pakistan! Home to the second largest gender gap in the world, according to the World Economic Forum’s 2012 Global Gender Gap Report. Many women in Pakistan face violence, intimidation and sometimes death for wanting to receive an education. Sounds like a recipe for repression.
The AP reports that in 564 of 64,000 Pakistani polling districts women could not vote in the 2008 election. It is looking to be much the same for the upcoming May 11 election. Why? Because the village men deemed it so.
One of these 564 districts is the village of Mateela. There men gathered and decided that women would not be allowed to vote in the upcoming elections. Keep reading »
Two gunman murdered a teacher who taught at an all-girls elementary school in Pakistan this week in a drive-by shooting. Shahnaz Nazli was killed just 200 meters from where she taught, no doubt because she dared to educate girls, according to The Daily Beast. Her killing is the most recent tragedy in the battle for women’s education in Pakistan, and it has triggered an online petition by the UN Special Envoy For Global Education. Keep reading »
Malala Yousufzai, the 15-year-old girls’ education activist who was shot by the Taliban in October, has finally left the UK hospital where she has been recuperating. Malala has been a voice for the rights of girls and women in her native Pakistan; she was shot in the skull while riding a school bus on October 9, and would have died if not for a lifesaving operation. Several days later, Pakistan had Malala and her family transported to the UK for further medical care at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. This week, this brave young girl became an outpatient, as she’s left for her family’s temporary home in the West Midlands. Her father, who is also a vocal advocate for girls’ education, has been hired at a Pakistani embassy, according to the UK’s Guardian. Malala will still have required hospital visits while she’s rehabilitating, plus another reconstructive surgery in the next month or two. Keep reading »