Preserving honour through a woman’s body By Maliha Zia Lari - Advocate High Court The criminality of rape is a contentious matter in Pakistan. Already entrenched in social stigma, the offence is so closely correlated with cultural and political conditioning, that it is difficult to treat the issue as merely a legal one.
In actuality, the crime, it’s investigation and it’s prosecution all reflect a deeper cultural dynamic that ultimately results in how rape is addressed in Pakistan.
In a patriarchal culture such as Pakistan’s, women are viewed to be subordinate to men. They are not recognised as individuals but through their relationships, those of a mother, daughter, sister, wife. Rather, seen as a ‘commodity’ being transferred from one man’s home (her father’s) to another (her husband’s), a woman must therefore be protected to maintain her best possible form until lead-time.
This prevalent mindset stems from local traditions, values and practices across the coun…