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Whenever I see the news regarding “a women” who was a victim of “honor killing” it never stops to amaze me how the people of our society can be so cruel. They kill these women (in order to restore their honor) in the most brutal way possible that it leaves one almost speechless. Many times in the past our government has posted laws which were to protect the rights of these women. But one way or another, these laws are never fully implemented. At times the police themselves look the other way, the best example of this can be taken from the latest case that I saw was of late Ms. Farzana Parveen who was stoned to death by her own family members in front of the high court within the presence of police in the broad daylight; and the police did not intervene as they believed it was a family matter. She died in front of the police who did nothing to prevent her death. Though this incident, which occurred in front of the high court, has stirred a lot of attention and the government has taken action; honor killing cases are still coming up.

Previously I used to think that these cases occurred mostly in rural areas, probably due to lack of education. But when I read the case of late Ms. Saima Sarwar, it changed my mind set. She came from a wealthy and educated family background. Despite that, she was killed by her family as she wished to divorce her first cousin and re-marry a man of her choice. But her family deemed it as dishonor upon their family. And she was shot dead outside her lawyer’s office. Women should be given the right to choose who they wish to marry as it is a lifelong decision. No one should force a woman to enter in an arranged marriage with suitors they don’t wish to marry.

In 2013, more than 1600 women were murdered in the name of honor killing alone. The actual number is much higher; as a large number of cases in the rural areas are not reported. The reason why these cases aren’t reported is because such issues are decided by the tribal leader who majority times in favor of the killings. They do this to set an example for the other women so that these women would never dare to perform such acts. The male members of our society believe that the women and their respect are their personal property which they control.

Honour killing, is a phenomena which is striking fear in the hearts of young women who feel trapped and enslaved by the male members of their families. In my opinion it is high time that we as individual should step up and take stand. There are three things that can be done:

Firstly, educate the younger masses. Maybe we cannot change the thoughts of the elders but we can show the future generations the right path. Destroy this concept that honour killing is the only method of restoring family honour. Tell them that one cannot justify murder by calling it honor killing and that this is not going to restore honour; In fact this will ruin their honour more.

Secondly, people should create forums, websites or even a hotline number where women who could be potential victims can ask for protection. This way people can contact authorities who could help them before any unnecessary damage happens.

And lastly, protest. It may bring little or no effect, but we as individuals should protest about this trend called Honor Killing, such as we can write articles, post of blogs, creation of pages which highlights that this is wrong and needs to be dealt with. What happened on 27th May 2014 was a truly a sad story but because of that, “honor killing” victims have gained a lot of attention. This is the moment that we as the youth must rise and demand a change for the future generations to come.

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