Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy has made Pakistan proud yet again after her documentary, A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness has been nominated in the Best Documentary – Short subject category for the 88th Academy Awards. Sharmeen’s documentary follows the harrowing story of an eighteen-year-old girl,a rare survivor of an honour-killing attempt, lives to tell the tale.
Every year more than a 1000 women are killed in the name of honour in Pakistan. The vast majority of victims are women attacked by family members. It is heart warming to witness someone who dares to raise awareness on sensitive issues likes this one instead of sweeping it under the rug, which is all too common in Pakistan, and then be appreciated for their effort to be in line to get the greatest awards in the field of filmmaking.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took the opportunity to indulge in his own PR when he congratulated Chinoy on the nomination of the film stating that honor killings was an evil that the government was committed to eradicating from Pakistan. He also invited the filmmaker to conduct a screening of the film at Prime Minister’s House. The PML-N government has come under heavy criticism for failing to protect the rights of women in the country. In 2015 in Punjab alone, over 90 acid throwing incidents, 7,600 cases of domestic violence against women, 320 women were killed in the name of honour, over a 1,000 incidences of women abduction and some 150 cases of rape and molestation cases were reported.
People like Ms. Chinoy, NGOs and other members of the civil society are doing all that they can to raise awareness to protect women from horrifying crimes. But real change will only be observed if the government takes strict action against the perpetrators of these crimes and makes sure that the criminal justice system works more efficiently. (Courtesy by Nation.com.pk)