by Jasvinder Sanghera CBE January 26, 2017 Up until last week, I had never heard of Linda Sarsour, the controversial co-chair of the global women’s march. But then supporters of my charity (Karma Nirvana) shared their shock and outrage over Ms. Sarsour’s attacks on the film Honor Diaries, a film in which I Read more about LINDA SARSOUR TRIES TO SILENCE WOMEN (LIKE ME)[…]
Sent to us by Clare, a guest contributor Forced marriage It’s a miscarriage of justice A must for us to protest To stop the pest The pestilence of forcing Coercing Immersing the unwilling Into fulfilling a parent’s will or Be killed It’s still a sin that’s commonplace In East and West it’s in your Read more about Forced Marriage: A Rap[…]
If you think that suicide is selfish, then you’ve obviously never been suicidal. I still remember the night I tried to commit suicide as if it was yesterday. I used to self-harm by cutting myself but yet, when it came to ending my life, I just couldn’t do it. What drives a Read more about Forced Marriage: A Survivor’s Story[…]
Growing up, I lived within a traditional Afghan family where the women and children in the house were seen and not heard. My life was mapped out for me; from where I went to school (if I did at all), to what I wore and who I would marry. There was no way I Read more about Freedom vs Prison[…]
This is the latest award for the Clarion Project film about nine women’s rights activists. If you haven’t already seen it, click on the link in this news item. Abraham Lincoln supposedly said “Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.” Recognition of the work that we do Read more about Honor Diaries Takes Best Documentary Film at New Festival[…]
Forbidden Trailer: Forbidden is a short dramatic thriller that follows a Sikh woman named Jasleen, who is running away with her Muslim lover, Fahwaz. Jasleen’s culture and religious conscious parents want her to marry within the Sikh community, and are shocked when she suddenly disappears. After Jasleen and Fahwaz elope, they think they’ve found happiness—but Jasleen’s family tracks the couple Read more about Forbidden: A New Film About Honor Violence[…]
By: Minakshi Das
This year at the Oscars, A Girl in the River: Price of Forgiveness caught the world’s attention. It was based on the true story of Saba Qaiser, an 18-year-old Pakistani girl who was shot in the face by her father and her uncle for eloping with a man she loved- but she survived. […]
Honor violence claimed yet another victim in central Pakistan. The atrocious strangling on July 15th of Qandeel Baloch, a Pakistani social media persona, happened just one day after the Day of Memory for victims of honor killings in the UK.
Day of Memory for Victims of Honor Violence There are things we choose to remember – birthdays, feelings, people – and there are things we choose to forget. Unfortunately, communities around the world often unknowingly forget the victims of honor violence simply because of a lack of knowledge about the problem. Every year, honor Read more about #WeRemember[…]
The Concept of Honor Written By: Asia Ashour Translated From Arabic To English “Honor” in our society is especially applied to women, and less so to men. Men who commit horrible acts are often excused simply because they are male. When I reached puberty, I found myself metaphorically surrounded by walls and in Read more about Arabic Essay Competition: 2nd Place[…]
What could possibly motivate a mother to pour kerosene on her own daughter, and then set her alight? And why are similar events – so-called ‘honor killings’ – on the increase, and not being vociferously opposed? Recently, there has been a noticeable increase in reports of honor killings in Pakistan. Whether this is a ‘real’ Read more about Where’s The ‘Honor’ In Killing?[…]
By: Paula Kweskin and Amanda Hernandez
Four years ago, the world watched the Arab Spring unfold. Human rights activists around the globe anticipated and hoped for revolutionary action in the Middle East. A movement that began at a small produce stand in Tunisia caused dictators to fall in Libya and Egypt, while causing others to strengthen extreme policies in order to quell growing dissent.
Interview with Rita:
An Iraqi-Christian Woman’s Life After ISIS
HD: Rita, tell us about yourself and your life.
Rita: I’m a girl in my early 20s: very ambitious and smart, according to what people say. I had a bitter childhood, filled with family struggles. I was living in Mosul after ISIS gained control. We managed to escape to Kurdistan. Our village was freed, but we could not return because of the remaining threat.
By Evan Darraji
I’m calling you ‘my not dear father’ because, to me, you are nothing more than the biological causation of my existence in this world. Your efforts to program me and train me for many years, like an ideological machine that was programmed to do this work, was not out of love from me; you did it to get personal pleasure, as your religion dictates. You liked using this tool in order to be the head of the family, where there are few females, in order to prove your male tribal existence, and to fulfil your duty in training the women to be obedient.
A feature film by DANISH RENZU
In the majestic Himalayan mountain range that spans India from the North all the way to the East, we focus in on the incredibly beautiful state of Kashmir in the North, the abode of Mystics and artisans but also raked with political turmoil. The land where tourists flock for vacations and it was a sought after landscape for decades, for many Bollywood movies.
Written By: Reda El-Danbouki
Originally in Arabic, Translated to English
Last year we celebrated a triumphant court case in Egypt that promised to put away the doctor who killed a young girl while performing FGM. However, we are sad to report that the verdict is not being implemented. It remains ink on paper, but isn’t even worth the ink used.
The family of Rada abd el-Wahhab Mahmud, aged 5, has a serious problem. Their daughter has to be tied up with a rope to prevent her from running out of the house in Kom Ombo, Egypt. Every time the door is open she makes a run for it. Her mother is worried that the girl will Read more about You’ll be Shocked by Why This Egyptian Family Ties Their 5 Year Old Daughter Up[…]
Update: The elections have since been held and five women were elected to local councils in Saudi Arabia.
This Saturday will mark the first time women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to vote or run for office. They will be casting their ballots and running as candidates in municipal elections, the only elections Saudis are allowed to vote in.
Honor culture can sound fairly reasonable. Every culture has social morays and failure to comply can result in punishment from other members of the group, be it family, friends, or wider society. That’s how group cohesion is enforced.
Often opponents of honor violence are accused by Islamists of being “colonialists” on the grounds that people should not oppose oppressive cultural norms if one is not from that culture, especially if one is Western.
When I grew up, I was very clear about demanding my rights. The first time I raised my voice I got a slap on the face by my brother. My father wouldn’t allow me to say no, and I lived like a dog obeying its owners, except that a dog is able to bark when it gets mad.
This week’s blog is in honor of all the brave men and women who are fighting against honor violence around the world.
Thousands of activists, ordinary men and women are fighting the silent battle against honor violence.
By Raheel Raza
Shakespeare said “Praising what is lost makes the remembrance dear.”
Remembrance Day is celebrated in many countries to commemorate and keep alive the memories of those who sacrificed their lives. It’s a wonderful concept. In Canada we wear red poppies to remember the soldiers who sacrificed their lives. Many events are held world-wide as citizens stand to attention and pay respects to the departed souls.
On Anti-FGM Day in Egypt, I visited the city where Soheir el-Batea lived. Soheir was the victim that spurred the first triumphant female genital mutilation trial in Egypt’s history, and I am the lawyer that argued in her defense. Accompanied by two French journalists, we went to see the aftermath of the court ruling ourselves, specifically interested in its effect on the people and its effect on the doctor.
In a time where interfaith and cultural and religious diversity are scrutinized and need support, Raheel Raza is a force to be reckoned with. Her outspoken and strong opinions on Muslim society and Islamic beliefs have been groundbreaking and inspiring.
Every wonder what life would be like if you were forced to wear a full-face veil? How do you see? How do you breathe? Would you feel unnoticed – or unnoticeable – or would you feel like you are sticking out like a ghoul?
Nazanin Afshin-Jam shares the story of a personal mission to save a teenage girl from death row in Iran. She demonstrates that the power of the individual is stronger than we are commonly led to believe, and urges each of us to stand up for those whose voices are smothered.
Listed by The Guardian as one of the World’s 100 Most Inspirational Women, Jasvinder Sanghera has been fighting forced marriages and honor-based abuse for decades after being faced with the prospect of a forced marriage and running away from home at fourteen years old.
Khloe Kardashian may have thought that wearing a niqab while visiting Dubai was a cool, cultural, act-like-the-natives thing to do. But the reality TV star is taking flak for the sultry picture she Istragrammed out to her 22.9 million followers and accompanied by the caption “Habibi Love.” (Habibi is a term of endearment in Arabic.)
Upon hearing about female genital mutilation, most people (myself included) find themselves asking what the point of it is.
A user of the website IslamQA, popular among Salafists (the hardline puritanical sect popularized by Saudi Arabia) had the same question.
On one of my last days in the USA, I had an interesting conversation with an American officer keen to know about Karma Nirvana’s police training, and I was enthusiastic to share. However before we got going the officer asked me to consider how the USA is very different. So I asked her to explain.
People have always had a difficult time talking about domestic violence. According to the World Health Organization “35% of women worldwide have experienced either intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.”
In celebration of International Women’s Day and out of appreciation for a woman’s role in society, Egyptian activist for human rights Reda el-Danbouki and Executive Manager of the Women’s Center for Guidance and Legal Awareness, emphasized that throughout history women have been the cornerstone of the family.
Reda el-Danbouki is an Egyptian lawyer who secured the first ever conviction for female genital mutilation (FGM) in his country’s history. Despite death threats and routine harassment, he intends to remain in Egypt to fight further cases relating to FGM. What follows is his clarion call for gender equality in Egypt.
The mutilated burned corpse of the 20 year-old psychology student was too horrible to contemplate. How had something like this happened?
This past Sunday, February 1, marked the forty-ninth Super Bowl, and occupied millions of Americans in front of their television sets. However, inconspicuously during the first break in the second quarter something radically important lit up television screens, and left a powerful but chilling message (hopefully resonating in the minds of millions watching).
Every woman has the right to control her own body. Every woman has the right to a full life, without being mutilated. Female genital mutilation (FGM) oppresses women and scars them for life. It is a vile expression of misogyny, a crude power play designed to control and to dominate. […]
Women in Egypt are fighting back against patriarchal norms, and getting fit while doing it. A new organization – Go Bike – is encouraging cycling in Cairo and women are joining in, breaking the strong cultural taboo against female cycling.
The ‘Honor Diaries’ team is proud to announce the installment of two billboards – one in Boston, and one in Dearborn, Michigan, featuring quotes from President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle condemning female genital mutilation (FGM). […]
France- 100. US- 0. Does this ‘score’ mean France is winning?
While female genital mutilation (FGM) has been illegal in the United States since 1996, our legal system has zero prosecutions to show for it. Meanwhile, France has over 100. […]
Two years ago, I was on a panel discussion with a focus on violence against women. I mentioned female genital mutilation (FGM) and its heightened prevalence, how thousands of girls are at risk every year in the United States to undergo this atrocious act.
Global attention has turned to Iraq where Islamic militants have taken over sections of Iraq. The human rights abuses are startling, and women and girls have been under systematic attack and at risk of unspeakable horrors.
by Reda al-Danbouki
Translated from the original Arabic
Throughout the world, there are many cultural and familial traditions that, somehow, become holy to a certain faith or religion. After enough time, expressing doubt or objections of the traditions come to be equated with a rejection of the whole religion, with all of its principles and ideas, and even of the god that it worships. One of these traditions is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), so often and erroneously adopted as a religious practice by my fellow Muslims.
[We are so proud and awed by Raheel’s attendance at the 26th assembly of the UN Humah Rights Council. And we thank her for this report]
RECONFIRMING THE MESSAGE OF HONOR DIARIES – FINALLY FGM UP FRONT AND CENTER AT THE UNHRC
Thank you to Rachel Chanel Adams of Women’s Voices Now for this post:
Oppression, especially when undercover and covert, is often perpetuated in the very places where promises are made to eradicate this social ill: in the halls of government, from the mouths of elected or appointed officials, and in the content of public policy, for example. In Saudi Arabia, women are denied basic rights through customary law, such as the right to drive, a practice that openly designates them as second-class citizens. As the world discovered in April, in Nigeria, young girls are abducted without swift or effective government action.
By now, we’ve all heard how Iranian actress Leila Hatami exchanged a kiss hello with the Cannes film festival president, 84 year-old Gilles Jacob. We’ve heard about Iran’s condemnation of Leila’s “inappropriate presence” at the festival, that was “not in line” with Iran’s religious beliefs. And of course, we all cringed at Leila’s public and embarrassed apology.
But there is something particularly special and gratifying about our local screenings. When university students, community organizers, religious groups and concerned citizens contact us to set up a showing of ‘Honor Diaries’, when friends, colleagues and neighbors take valuable time out of their to-the-brim-filled day and dedicate it to the freedom of women.
Jillian Lauren, a New York Times bestselling author, is taking a stand against culture-based abuse and the oppression of women. Raised in a typical middle class New Jersey family, she went down an unexpected road, dropping out of college, becoming an escort and spending a year and a half living in the harem of Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei.
When Iran won a seat on the U.N. Economic and Social Council’s Commission on the Status of Women, the world’s foremost intergovernmental body promoting women’s rights around the world, jaws around the world hit the floor.
Despite their protestations, Iran is not known for being a bastion of women’s rights.
If anything can be said for Iraq’s new Jaafari personal status law, it is that the scandalous and shocking new slew of rights which may be afforded to men at the expense of women and girls is drawing international attention to the unilateral usurpation of freedoms and subjugation of females which is still extant and flourishing in the world today.
From: Raheel Raza, on behalf of Honor Diaries Date: April 3 Contact info: 416-505-6052 / email@example.com I, the undersigned, am one of the women whose voice is heard in the free speech / women’s rights film “HONOR DIARIES.” On Thursday, March 27, 2014, the scheduled screening of HONOR DIARIES was canceled on the University of Read more about Screening of the film “HONOR DIARIES” at the University of Michigan, Dearborn campus[…]
Many little girls in the western world dream of the day when they will become brides, imagining themselves the most beautiful, special, and celebrated person in the world on that magical day.
However, for many girls around the world, marriage is not far away – and with it, all the responsibilities and duties of a wife. […]
Notes from the road from Paula, following our dream-come-true event – a screening at the UN Human Rights Council!
The event today was a tremendous success. Personally, I have been delighted to fulfill a lifelong dream – attending a session at the Human Right Council! […]
The recent increase in coverage of the severe harms and ongoing threat of honor violence to women and girls which is taking place in the United States is very heartening.
Up until now, the overwhelming majority of attention the western world has given to the plight of women and girls who fight to survive in cultures dominated by “honor” has come from the United Kingdom and publications such as The Guardian, The Daily Mail, and the BBC.