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In the Name of Honor

Honor Killing in Pakistan

My Art Organization Rastay Arts is raising voice against honor killing since 2010. The work started to speak for a real case of Honor Killing when a married woman was gang raped and brutally killed by her husband in Fateh Jung village in Pakistan.

40 years old lady Nasreen (fake name is being used here to keep the cultural secrecy, respect and privacy)had clash with her husband . The husband was unemployed and was careless about responsibilities of their four children. Nasreen used to work for other homes as maid to earn bread. When the dispute between husband and wife grew , Her husband made her leave home and she started living with at her father’s home with her children. For months they never interacted or visited each other expect the elder son of Nasreen who used to visit his father’s place off and on. After few months Nasreen was offered a marriage proposal by some noble man in her father’s village. She tried to send message to her husband to give her divorce, so that she can remarry by law, after all she needs a shelter and a family. Her Husband sent her message that we should talk face to face on the matter, for this he sent a friend of him and his elder son to bring Nasreen for negotiation. When Husbands friend was bringing Nasreen and her elder son in car, on way he dropped the son to her husband place and told Nasreen her husband is waiting for her away from village in a peaceful area where you both can sit and talk. Nasreen got worried when car was passing by an unknown area, she raised questions but every time she was made satisfied by talking to her husband on phone. On reaching spot, Nasreen found some strangers with her husband. After 24 hours her dead body was found by police with brutal injuries of gang rape and bullets on her head.

It was a shameful act for whole humanity. On inquiry, Nasreen’s husband declared it an act of honor killing that how come she could ask for divorce or remarriage. He was put behind the bar but court never punished him what he deserved. The case was marked for honor killing and sadly in our country, such cases have excused punishments.

Rastay spoke for this case by all means. We organized an Interactive Art Exhibition and supported activism by calling all artists from all Pakistan. It was inaugurated by Dr. Marilyn Wyatt, wife of the US ambassador in Pakistan. Along with display of paintings, theatre and musical performance, poetry recital, video presentation, animated movie, dialogue session, and interactive fact sharing with the family and relatives of honor killing victim made the exhibition deliver the message in a stronger way that there is no honor in killing.

Later we put all the case and exhibition details with press releases on our website We never expected a huge response both nationally and internationally as a result. People and organizations across the globe contacted us. The number of visits to our website was multiplied. Putting the information on web empowered the issue and we got support for the cause.

It is thorough Web that Deeya Khan, famous Deeyah Norwegian film director, music producer, composer, and human rights defender contacted our organization, Rastay’s CEO Faiza Khan. Deeyah is an outspoken supporter of women's rights, freedom of expression and peace. She was working on her movie on the subject those days. She asked about on ground information about the matter. Later she launched many projects and umbrella projects related to the issue as follows.

Banaz: A Love Story Since early 2009 Deeyah , has been directing and producing Banaz: A Love Story, a documentary film about honor killings. The film received its UK premiere at the Raindance Film Festival in London September 2012. It is Deeyah's first film as a director and producer which has won critical acclaim and international awards including the 2013 Emmy award for best international documentary film. The film is being used to train British police.

AVA:Founded by Deeyah in 2011 AVA, is an arts and multimedia based educational non profit charity organization dedicated to reducing the marginalization of women and young people particularly by providing tools and avenues which encourage people to find their individual voices.

Honor Based Violence Awareness (HBVA)
Launched in February 2012, Deeyah and Joanne Payton of Cardiff University founded Honor Based Violence Awareness network (HBVA), an international multimedia digital resource center working to advance understanding and awareness of Honor Killings and Honor Based Violence through research, training and information.

It was just a nuclear reaction, we initiated a voice and there was a response from different part of the World in its favor.
Day by day the voice is becoming stronger.

The impact of the our exhibition “In the Name of Honor”, was so powerful through media and activist artist; finally they caught the murderer with his fellows. He is under police custody but the trial is still on. Unfortunately, in our country any murder under the name of “Honor Killing” has an excused or minor punishment by law because the murderer can justify his action on it. He/ She can defend the case by saying that to protect the honor of family he/ she did murder. In this case, the murderer used the same false and self created stories and told the court that his wife was actually of bad character and used to have extra marital affairs with other man. I feel in the third World women is very easy to stop, accused or killed through pointing her character. It is easy to make her bad image in the society and she is exploited at her honor. She is made helpless here, together by whole society including her family, no matter she is coming from a village or city. The idea is to spread awareness, justice and stop killing of innocent people in the name of Honor. Indeed “www” has a big role in spreading awareness.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Women Weave the Web Digital Action Campaign. Learn more »



Haruna's picture

Hi, Alina. It's really sad

Hi, Alina. It's really sad that these women have been killed but not protected. Good luck with your work, and thank you for sharing.

PohChing's picture


It is not possible to change a cultural system overnight...maybe not even in the years to come. We can't foresee too much into the future.

kkrompas's picture

Thank you for your voice and

Thank you for your voice and your strength. It's horrific how women are treated and the double standard that men can do whatever they want. I've been reading about the injustice of women throughout the world and it makes me sick. Thank you for standing up. Prayers to you.


This is a good story illustrating the impact technology can have in spreading the information worldwide.
This is a very sad story and unfortunately a common one.
Technology has become one of the strongest tools for women and their advocates to speak up. This story is a testimony of how far we are in terms of women's rights even though a lot have been accomplished. Thank you for your work, we need more women leaders like you.

Kadidia Doumbia

Hi Alina,

This is such a powerful story - but so sad that a woman lost her life in such terrible treacherous circumstances. I think your account shows how non-violent actions and the power of the net can work against such attitudes and begin to make changes.

It's very heartening to hear how people across the world have responded - well done for having the courage to stand up and decide to make a stand against such culturally-ingrained traditions.

With best wishes,


Fiona McKenzie

Gwei Mainsah's picture

The whole System needs reforms

Each and every country has binding laws. If somebody does something wrong I believe you have the right to bring him before the law. Taking the law into your hands is a big crime. Jungle justice is a big crime. If any country allows a set of crime and especially in this, case allowing someone to punish another person for what he believes is a crime then that country does not have respect for human rights
There should not be something like honor killings. But since it has been a culture there is the need for the law to be done. Through the media it will be a great for us to share ideas and resources that shall help

Gwei Mainsah Gilberts
Communication Officer
National Organization for Research, Studies and Realization

Reducing gender discrimination and violence against women are global phenomena as old human history, women's rights are the freedom and entitlement of women.
Vulnerability of Ghanaian women is an incontestable fact despite the ratification by number of international standards which sanction gender discrimination and inequality among such standards are universal declaration of human rights {UDHR}women rights refers to freedom and entitlement of women and girls of all ages we are appealing to international bodies to differentiate from broad er notions of human rights,
Gender imbalance premeditates every fact of every fact of Ghanaian s society comes in several forms such as discriminatory practices and violence against women and girls which the most acute form of gender inequality in Ghana are in the forms of harmful traditional practice against women some of the harmful practices are in our communities include female genital mutilation,child marriages,ritualistic widowhood practices nutritional taboos,cult prostitution,sexual freedom for husbands,family preferences for a male children instead of girls ,lack of participation in public decision-making, rape,battery trafficking of women and girls,even properties acquired by a woman in a marriage belongs to the man,
The way out of gender discrimination is women's empowerment.This involves the strengthening of the individual and collective abilities of women for positive action,women's empowerment will lead to a balanced partnership of both sexes.This would involve the generation of awareness on the fallacies of gender stereotypes and the raising of consciousness against biases as acts of injustices .This has to be done through all the agents socialization starting from the family to be community, to schools, religious leaders and governments,other than that we will not see sustainability progress unless we fix failures in socialites so that girls and women can enjoy equal access to education and be accepted employment and political position

Cali gal Michelle's picture

Alinah- I appreciate you

I appreciate you sharing this story with us, and raising our awareness about these horrible injustices against women. It is beyond heartbreaking, but I do believe that together we can change hearts, attitudes, and thereby actions.

I am interested in watching the documentary, and looking at the other resources you have posted. You could post the AVA and HBVA on the Resources page as well:

Standing with you for change-

Let us Hope together-
aka: Cali gal


Alina Chaudry's picture

Thank You For Support

Dear All, Thank you very much for your kind and encouraging words. It is a prove that women voice gets stronger through World Wide Web. Thank you to World Pulse for giving us a platform. I would like to know about each of your organizations with web addresses. Thank you tillymama for a detailed critic. Thank you Michelle for sharing your comments with your address.
Yes i will shortly share about AVA and HBVA on resources page. Secondly, there is an animated short story on Honor Killing by Pakistani artist with subtitles sponsored by Rastay. I will shortly upload that animationa and will share with Pulse wire and you all. Although the dates of submission is gone but will share on resource page. Thank You.. i waiting for more organization addresses working on same page.

Alina Chaudry
Media & Communication
shifa International hospital
Islamabad, Pakistan

travelpoet's picture

Justice for Nasreen….

Thank you Alina for your caring heart, your creative spirit, and your ability to mobilize others toward positive action! I'm encouraged that you have been able to bring multimedia artists from all over Pakistan to bring global attention to this terrible issue.

I've traveled to Afghanistan where honor killings occur as well, and it's devastating no matter where in the world this tragedy occurs.

You've done a beautiful job of outlining how the internet has played a productive role in promoting awareness and education, connecting likeminded people together (like Deeya Khan!) and in sharing photography, artwork, and results of your combined efforts.

I'm appreciative of your sensitivity in using a pseudonym for Nasreen in order to protect her memory and her children and friends. May her spirit have peace...

All best wishes from an American sister,

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