National Geographic yesterday premiered a documentary on its cable television channel focusing on honor killings in Pakistan. Every day three women in Pakistan become victims of honor killings, usually murdered by male members of their families, including their husbands, fathers, and brothers. Honor killings, however, are not contained to Pakistan. Victims can be found all over the world, killed for allegedly having affairs, flirting, becoming the object of another man’s affection, or becoming victims of rape. Few of these crimes are prosecuted, and often communities support the practice of honor killings and work to protect the perpetrators by making the victims invisible. “In many cases, the women are buried in unmarked graves and all records of their existence are wiped out,” explained Widney Brown, Advocacy Director for Human Rights Watch.
Activists are calling for an international response to honor killings, which they see as only one facet of the larger problem of violence against women. Worldwide, grassroots activists have planned over 800 actions in conjunction with V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women. Amnesty International will launch its own global campaign to combat violence against women in 2003. Importantly, however, violence against women is a critical issue in the United States as well. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, one in three murdered females in the U.S. is killed by a partner and more than 1 million women are stalked every year. Every fifteen seconds, a woman is battered in the U.S., usually by an intimate partner.
Media Resources: National Geographic, 2/12/02; V-Day; Department of Justice, 5/00 & 11/98; United Nations Study on the Status of Women, 2000
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .
8/25/2015 Fraternity Signs Promote Rape Culture, Elicit Outrage - Old Dominion University (ODU) in Virginia is receiving national attention for a fraternity's vulgar and offensive signs that were on display as first-year students moved into their dorms.
The signs, which were hung on fraternity Sigma Nu and displayed derogatory messages for incoming female students- and their mothers- have since been removed, and the University has promised disciplinary action. . . .