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.