Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Women Facing Persecution in Pakistan

Today I am working on an asylum application for a Pakistani woman who fled Pakistan because she feared for her life. At the time she escaped, she was 29, unmarried, and pregnant. She was engaged to a man that her family had arranged a marriage with, and he was not the father of her child.

Moreover, she was a Sunni Muslim, and the father of her child was a Shi’a Muslim. Knowing that this was a death sentence for her, she and the father of her child came to the United States in search of safety.

Here is some of the initial research I have gathered on the persecution of women in Pakistan who have an out-of-wedlock child, and/or marry the man of their choosing:

Just a few months ago, in June, a young woman who married against the will of her family was beaten and killed, along with her husband and three of his relatives, by over three dozen attackers headed by her family, “to avenge the so-called dishonour brought to the family due to the elopement of the girl.”

Last September, three women who attempted to marry men of their own choosing were kidnapped, driven to the desert, beaten, shot, and then buried alive. Upon hearing of this heinous crime, a local politician stated that “such acts were part of a ‘centuries-old tradition’ and he would ‘continue to defend them.’”

Women in Pakistan live in fear. They face death by shooting, burning or killing with axes if they are deemed to have brought shame on the family. They are killed for supposed ‘illicit’ relationships, for marrying men of their choice, for divorcing abusive husbands. They are even murdered by their kin if they are raped as they are thereby deemed to have brought shame on their family. The truth of the suspicion does not matter – merely the allegation is enough to bring dishonour on the family and therefore justifies the slaying.”

1 comment:

  1. To truly be a called disciple of Christ's, one must bear his cross in their heart and mind, viewing all of creation through his lens. I rejoice at your activism! You are an amazing disciple!!