The foreign office hosted the film in an attempt to raise awareness about honour killing, reports Asian Lite News
The Foreign Office hosted a film screening of ‘A Girl in the River’ on 20 July. Directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, the Oscar-winning documentary follows the true story of Saba, an eighteen year girl who survives an honour killing attempt by her father and uncle.
The screening is part of the Foreign Office’s campaign to highlight the pervasiveness of honour killings and help create opportunities for it to be discussed more openly in Pakistani society and government. The documentary was recently shown to Foreign Office staff in Pakistan and the country’s Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, also hosted a screening in Islamabad.
Protecting women and girls is crucial to the future stability and prosperity of Pakistan. Legislation intended to benefit women is often poorly implemented, social norms hold back progress, and attempts to advance women’s rights face opposition, particularly from religious voices. Ensuring that women’s rights are safeguarded, that they are able to take part in political processes, and that they are able to participate fully in conflict resolution are priorities for the UK.
At the screening, director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy said, “The documentary has galvanized Pakistan and initiated a national conversation about honour killings and their role in society, with a major push being made to encourage all political parties to pass the Anti-honour killings bill which will no longer allow forgiveness in honour killing cases. Screening this documentary at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in the UK will further spur support for the victims of honour killing world over, and send out a strong message that this practice is not a part of our culture or religion.”
Joanna Roper, Director of Consular Services at the Foreign Office, said, “The Foreign Office is delighted to host Sharmeen and show her inspiring film. This screening will raise awareness of this important issue to show there is no honour in honour killings. That’s why the FCO hosts the Forced Marriage Unit, whose work is vital in working to eradicate forced marriage and associated honour based violence.”