In his New York Times column recently Nicholas Kristoff tells about Saba, a young woman who was shot in the head by her father. Why? Because she had disobeyed him by falling in love and marrying without her father’s permission. It is estimated that over 1000 honor killings take place in Pakistan every year, but very few perpetrators are brought to justice. Courageously, Saba attempted to have her father arrested, but . . . .
You’ll meet Saba herself in A Girl in the River, nominated for the Oscars’ short documentary award. Kistoff says whether or not it wins the nomination, it is worth viewing. This travesty against young women must stop. (I confess I didn’t watch the Oscars)
Pakistan is far away and probably doesn’t seem like an issue in this country. But I just read Hiding in the Light by Rifqa Bary who faced the threat of death because she dared to . . . become a Christian. She was able to keep her faith secret for several years, but when her father found out, he threatened to send her to Sri Lanka to marry an old Muslim man, and the local mosque stood by him . In fact, they are still threatening to sue the American family who protected sixteen-year-old Rifqa when she ran away from home.
Whether it’s honor killing, trafficking, limiting education to boys first or killing new born girls—the treatment of women and girls in many countries calls us to compassion and action. I’ve spent over five years writing a biographical fiction about Katharine Bushnell, MD, a Christian activist who investigated and exposed the sex trade in the US and India at the end of the nineteenth century. Lighthouse Publishing tells me the book will be released by December 1, 2016.