AMANZIMTOTI, SOUTH AFRICA: This is with reference to your editorial of December 23 titled “HRCP’s report on honour killing”. When I was growing up in a small town, it did not bother me then that while us boys could walk out of the house whenever we wished, our sisters stayed inside the four walls.
Now when I look back, I realise that in those days at least, girls were denied most of their basic rights. For instance, a girl could not play outside on the street, while her brother could. She had to make do with sitting at home and playing with dolls, even if that is not what she wanted.
Our society is based on the principle that men decide what women need, who they meet and who they get married to. This, of course, assumes that women are nothing more than dolls, without any desires and feelings. So, when we talk of human rights, do we include our daughters, wives and mothers in this?
Honour killing is nothing more than punishing someone who dares to disagree with society or her family and makes decisions on her own. We all need look inward and see if this happens in our own families. I think it is quite common for men in Pakistani society to look at other women and many do not hesitate to try and become friends with them. However, we all know what happens to girls or women who do the same in the Pakistani society.
A girl/woman’s life is next to miserable because she is constantly being trained to become an ideal wife and is told that marriage is her ultimate goal in life. And this includes putting up with whatever behaviour her husband and her in-laws demonstrate.
Things have to change, of course. It is a long road but a lot of what your editorial talks about is a step in the right direction.