Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Sandeela Kanwal

In some parts of the world when a baby boy is born, they kill a goat and feed it to the poor. When a baby girl is born, they kill the girl, and pretend that nothing happened. [And please don't make this a religion thing, I don't care if its used to justify, it doesn't make that the reality. Read here, and here of other people practicing the same atrocity]. It seems girls are expendable in the womb, at birth and apparently 25 years into their lives. In my own city, 25 year old Sandeela Kanwal was strangled to death on Tuesday morning by her father. Why? Because she wanted a divorce from the husband her father forced her to marry.

For reasons I cant elaborate on this story is extremely personal to me. Words bubble to the surface yet I find myself speechless. I keep thinking, had I known her, could I have helped? How many others here are in her shoes? Do I know them? Unfortunately, these matters are kept so secret its hard to know. Our culture of izzat forces women to stay silent on the sins against them in the name of family honor. In England this problem is being public addressed but its rarely mentioned in the US so I presumed it didn't happen, but today I learned, at Sandeela's expense, the problem is here too.

These girls need resources, and options. They need to know they don't have to accept and endure abuse. That even though their parents are supposed to love them, it does not mean they should always blindly trust them. But what good are these words on this screen? My plan is to research what's available to help women in the US. At the very least I can create a simple website pooling resources and links of help for these women. Should they desperately search, something there to help. But most of all, more than the resources these women need to know it is not ok for anyone, even your parents to violate your basic human rights. How do you undo years of training that taught them otherwise? Again, I am left without an answer.

I plan to attend his trial. I want to know what twists a mind to commit this sin against their own flesh and blood. I want to know why he told the Judge on Tuesday that he did nothing wrong. And I want to be in the courtroom when I see with my own eyes, justice for Sandeela Kanwal.

13 comments:

mezba said...

wow - that's all I can say.

mystic said...

Please keep as posted... I am as shocked as well as curious you are !!!

Anonymous said...

so sad. keep us posted please.

toshspice said...

I heard about it on the news and was shocked, but it's not uncommon that some men take drastic measures against women in regards to marriage or sex. I think one thing is to produce magazine articles and books about the accomplishment of women and their rights. This matter is not going to be solved over night but we can plant seeds in peoples head.

Anisa said...

i was devastated when i heard about sandeela.

the world hated us enough already. i am so tired. poor, poor sandeela.

i hope the judge takes no mercy on her "father."

Aisha said...

Mezba, yes it left me speechless for somet ime.

Mystic, anon, I will. one of the hearings is in April and I already told my boss I would attend it.

Toshspice, but in placesl ike the US its just not talked about, so how and where to begin to plant the seeds is a question :(

Anisa- I know. Its disgusting. And yes, one more to add to the list of crazies :( I too pray for justice.

Suroor said...

I would be very interested in knowing how the court hearing went. You are such an incredibly caring person. I'm glad you will be going. I hope the father gets convicted.

Aisha said...

Suroor its sometime in August, but the actual trial will likely be in December or February. It takes forever to get things done. Thanks for your interest on the story. I will kep you poste.d

pixie said...

A website would be great. It saddens me so much that this goes on. Let me know if you want any help with links or resources. I could always provide stuff for South Florida.

Amina said...

that's very true what you said...life is to precious to be juggle liek that and kids are blessing from God.

hugs from Poland
Amina

pilgrimchick said...

I am sorry to hear about such an outright tragedy, and I am just as curious as you are about how someone could commit such a horrible crime against his or her own children. I agree with you that there is certainly a "western" perception that the phenomena of infant mortality against females only occurs in certain cultures that the west deems as "other" in unjust ways. Good for you putting together such important resources.

Aisha said...

Pixie, thanks I will be in touch! This is a HUGE problem in Florida.

Amina, thanks for stopping by and for your thoughts.

Pilgrimchick, thanks, its just easier to make it an "other" problem as opposed to an "us- the human race" issue.

Tee said...

As I told you - I think the website is one of your best ideas ever.

As for going to the trial - I don't know if I could sit quietly in the same room as this "man".

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