Earlier in the week, we told you about the tragic murder of Qandeel Baloch, real name Fouzia Azeem, who has been nicknamed the Kim Kardashian of Pakistan. It was soon discovered that Baloch’s brother, Waseem Azeem, had strangled his sister. At first, little details were known about the alleged honor killing; however, now Waseem Azeem has broken his silence and told reporters why he killed his sister.
“Girls are born only to stay at home,” Waseem said in a police press conference. “And to bring honour to the family by following family traditions but Qandeel had never done that.”
Although Baloch brought in much money for the family, Waseem believed that honor was more important to a family. He also said, “Now everybody will remember me with honour that I have provided relief to my parents and brothers who were suffering for the last two decades because of her.”
Waseem drugged his sister with sedatives and then, when she fell asleep, he strangled her.
Baloch’s murder is now causing an open dialogue regarding feminism and female empowerment in Pakistan. Baloch represented a sense of sexual freedom that many women in Pakistan feel they are missing. And now that she has been killed, many women believe it’s time to take action against such an oppressive patriarchy.
Maryam Nawaz Sharif, daughter of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, has been vocal about new legislation that her father’s ruling party is set to pass. The bill would remove a loophole that allows for family members to pardon someone who committed an honor killing.
An average of 500 women are killed a year in Pakistan all in the name of honor killings, and Baloch’s death is igniting a fierce debate about the issue. For many of us, it was not until Baloch was killed that we even knew about the practices of honor killings; however, now we all are able to use our voices to speak against any and all violence toward women.
(Photo: Qandeel Baloch via Twitter)