Unfortunately, Jamila Bibi was sent to Toronto on the 16th of September to catch a flight home. The 65 year old originally came to Canada in 2007 to escape claims of adultery that she says are false, says her lawyer, Bashir Khan.
Khan said the Canadian government has decided Bibi can move elsewhere in Pakistan, despite also acknowledging that she is at risk from both individuals and state authorities in the country.
“Except that makes no sense to me because the criminal charge is outstanding and she’s a target of honour killing,” Khan told CTV News Channel. “She will be. She’s received threats already.”
A deportation was originally ordered for Bibi in 2011, after her bid to secure refugee status was rejected.
The United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights tried to get the government to keep her in the country, but it didn’t work, evidently.
Amnesty International is also urging the Canadian government to reconsider the deportation, saying the work of the UN body should be completed before the Canadian government makes any final decisions.
“There’s no way that Canada would want to be responsible for returning a woman back to a country where her rights could be violated,” Gloria Nafziger, an Amnesty International refugee co-ordinator, told CTV.
She’d been working for Meg’s Restaurant downtown and the owner, Sahana Yeasmin, has been helping as much as he can with her legal bills.
“As a human being, we cannot throw people like this away. From my heart, I very badly need help,” Yeasmin said.
The Atlantic ran a feature in 2012 focused on the difficulties women face in Pakistan. I don’t think it’ll matter one bit if she’s guilty or innocent once she’s back in that country, sadly.
Westerners usually associate the plight of Pakistani women with religious oppression, but the reality is far more complicated. A certain mentality is deeply ingrained in strictly patriarchal societies like Pakistan. Poor and uneducated women must struggle daily for basic rights, recognition, and respect. They must live in a culture that defines them by the male figures in their lives, even though these women are often the breadwinners for their families.
But for those who dutifully follow and live the Koran, they’ll be able to justify continued patriarchal thinking because the writers of the Koran made sure to include verses dictating how to treat and value women – often as property and worth half of what a man is.
The inequality came first, no doubt, and someone just made sure to write it down so nobody would forget. The Koran existing as a written echo of an earlier call for all to behave properly in Allah’s eyes. But while the world and overall human rights move forward, these poor women are still stuck living in a past that promoted this inequality as the status quo and a present that continues to enforce it.
Back to the Atlantic:
A difficult irony for women in Pakistan is that, should a victim speak up about physical or sexual abuse, she is seen as having lost her and her family’s dignity. Many rapes go unreported as the victim fears she will become worthless in Pakistani society. Often, women will turn to their employers; families they can trust. It’s a typically unnoticed form of charity but one that can be crucial to their survival.
The stories shared in the piece are poignant and heart wrenching. The Asia Human Rights Commission focuses on a different story of a women who was raped by her father and later poisoned by her family.
the easiest solution was to kill Sofia and bury her in secret so that the family’s shame would be buried, in secret, with her.
Their first priority was to protect the honour of the family and secondly to take the shelter behind religious tradition. The rapist was provided protection by his wife and siblings to murder Sofia in order to hide his crime. The murder of the daughter in the name of honour was, in fact, not to uphold the religious traditions but to reinforce the concept that women are the only source of sexual corruption and therefore it is only the woman that is liable for punishment and not the rapist.
Few comment on my blog but save the time you’d spend hammering one out now – I know I’m uninformed and lack the education in the culture and the history of the country and I’m just a low to mid class white woman in Canada who’s never had to experience anything approaching the lives these women wake up to every day.
That’s why I blog. That’s why I do the reading and find out about these stories and these people. Because I’m sheltered from so many problems others face and can’t really imagine what they’re going through.
I read in the Tribune that there’s some hope to be had. The Pakistan Constitution has equality written into it. Women are in the army, the air force, climbing mountains. Things are happening, but
ultimately, Pakistanis need to decide if they are going to be governed by the Constitution of Pakistan, which grants equal rights to everyone or by the will of illiterate clerics and whatever fantasy laws they whip up. If the government remains silent and no action is taken to correct this dysfunction, then there is a risk that ignorance will spread to less affected urban areas. Nothing is static.
The author, Sabina Khan, then notes she’s lived in Saudi Arabia and would hate to see Pakistan get to the point where women are covered head to toe in black and walk four paces behind men.
Pakistani women may be irresistible beauties, but they have contributions to offer to society, many are well-educated and it would be a loss for the nation to hide them away like second-rate citizens.
Ms. Bibi, my heart goes out to you.