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How a documentary changed the honour killing laws in Pakistan.



This article is about a documentary that spurred a change in the laws of Pakistan. A Girl in the river is a documentary produced and directed by an Oscar winning Pakistani director Obaid Chinoy. With this documentary Obaid Chinoy wanted to capture the plight of thousands of Pakistani women who have been, and continue to be murdered by their fathers, brothers and husbands in the name of honor. This documentary captured, tale of Saba Qaisera who survived an attempted murder at the hands of her father. All because she fell in love and eloped with a boy that her father disapproved. In the documentary Saba shares how her father and her uncle tried to kill her and how the laws of the country have deprived her of justice. It was due to the loopholes in the country laws that allowed her father and uncle to walk free even after committing such a heinous crime.

This documentary highlighted one of the most sensitive issues that women of Pakistan face which was pushed under the rug for a long time. After the release of this documentary, the premier of the country at that time vowed to change the laws in order to protect thousands of women of the country.


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Khubaib Riasat
Khubaib Riasat
Dec 12, 2021

I appreciate the director's effort to bring this underlying issue into the spotlight. These brothers, fathers, and men don't know what is written in the 1973 constitution. 1973 Constitution Chapter 1 Part 2 Article 9 states that" No person shall be deprived of life or liberty save in accordance with the law." Every country in the world considers murder as a heinous crime. It was heartbreaking to see Saba giving in to societal pressure to forgive her father and brother. It's saddening to see women being killed in the name of honor just for wanting to marry the person they love. I appreciate that this documentary has had a massive effect, and I hope to see our society embrace women's…

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I haven't watched it but this makes it look so interesting! Definitely adding it to my list so I can watch it as soon as finals are over. Thank you for sharing this!

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Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy has made some excellent documentaries over the years! A lot of take home lessons for the viewers!

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Every year in Pakistan, more than 1,000 women’s and girls’ lives are violently cut short, supposedly in the name of honour. This documentary through Saba portrayed their anguish accurately and I think this documentary also won an oscar and academy award.

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There are now some laws against honor killings. Unfortunately, the culture of honor killing is embedded in the conservative mindset of Pakistani people. Parents should listen to and respect the choices of their children. If there is something extremely wrong with their choice, parents should guide them in a good manner.

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