Stoning of a Pregnant Woman

This article in the Guardian reports on the stoning of a pregnant 25 year old woman in Pakistan because she married a man she loved. She was stoned to death by her father, brothers and other relatives. The stoning murder took place outside a court! Her father described it as an ‘honour killing’ because she married without their consent. He also said he had no regrets. 

How twisted and distorted is it to consider such murder as an ‘honour killing’? There is no honour in such acts of atrocity. It is appalling, horrific and for us in the Western world, almost beyond comprehension how such an act could occur, and occur in broad daylight outside a supposed centre of justice – a court.

The article states that often such crimes involving violence against women are not fully or properly investigated by police or the men get lenient sentences or even acquitted. All of which smells of an underlying current of misogyny in the police force and judicial services such that the perpetrators are not held to account as those in authority in some way feel it must be ok or justified to be violent to women and kill them resulting in half-hearted investigations and sentencing. A vicious circle where those supposedly upholding the law and justice are perhaps as complicit in the crime by not taking a strong stand against the perpetrators. 

Acts of evil are given free reign when we do nothing, when we say nothing, when we stand back and say ‘it’s not my problem.’  It’s all our problem. We are all responsible for the society we co-create together, for the world we co-create together. If we only see this as a problem in Pakistan then we are lost, for we are not recognising that we are one humanity and what is done to one is done to all.

We are all interconnected – we are not separate islands or peoples. Dividing people according to skin colour or religious beliefs is a complete fallacy that only serves to perpetuate such evil acts in the false belief that ‘they’ are different to ‘us’. We are all equal, we are all the same in essence, yet with our own unique expressions. 

The men who committed this crime in Pakistan have been brought up in some way to believe it is ok and acceptable to be violent against women and even to kill women should they not obey their controlling ways. We maybe think “well what can I do? – that is in Pakistan – there is nothing I can do”. Well think again. It does not require us rushing off to Pakistan for there is plenty we can do in our own backyard. For example, speaking up and calling to account when we hear misogynistic or slanderous remarks being made against women. This can happen in subtle and not so subtle ways – yet how often do we just let it pass as we don’t wish to create a fuss, to stand out, to be seen as prudish or righteous? 

Being aware in our own relationship dynamics of any power plays, controlling and dominating behaviours, bullying, being belittled or attempts to humiliate or make lesser in any way. Taking a stand and saying this is not acceptable – I do not deserve to be spoken to in this way, I do not deserve to be treated in this way, and stating it clearly – do not speak to me in that way. Dealing with misogyny requires not just addressing the men who have those tendancies and the beliefs that have led them to beleive it is ok but also requires women to not cower in the face of it, to stand up and say no, no more. 

We may not get stoned in the western world for being a woman, but the levels of domestic violence in this country tell us there is plenty of work to do at home. And that is only the violent tip of the misogyny iceberg for the ways that many men still attempt to control, demean, bully, dominate, humiliate and impose upon women are manifold – and it will continue so long as we lie back and allow it. 

I too have been guilty of that – I have often given my power away to men and allowed them to control or dominate. Thankfully I am now more aware of it and so I can begin to say no….when I feel it is happening, to have the self-worth to speak up and call it out.

Of course, I am no man-hater, indeed I love men and I am not here tarring them all with the same brush! I know there are many men who truly love and respect women as they are and do not need to control or dominate them.

However, this post started with the stoning murder of a woman in Pakistan – an act that can only be brought by those whose hearts are closed to the true beauty and grace of women. Whose minds have been fed lies and mistruths to justify their abhorrent position undoubtedly contributed to by certain religious beliefs that favour a domineering patriarchal society. Such beliefs that men are somehow superior to women are still well and truly present in the western world, often also fuelled by religious belief. So let us not just point the finger at others and clear up our own doorstep – until all the men in our society truly recognise the equality of women and cease their misogynistic ways.

Any belief that does not recognise the true equality of women and men is man-made not God made – for God is love who loves all equally irrespective of gender, sexuality, race or religion.  

Feel free to share your views and thoughts in the comments section. 




  • Reply
    Gayle Cue
    30th May 2014 at 8:13 am

    Dear Eunice, Thank you for speaking up about an unspeakable subject. News stories such as the one you have written about – a young woman being stoned to death by her father and brothers – are so abhorrent that many of us don’t even want to hear about them. We close our eyes, we close our ears, we close our hearts. And who does that help? It doesn’t help the murdered woman, it doesn’t help the murderers see the error of their ways, it doesn’t bring about justice and it doesn’t help us as individuals, because we just learn to live in a shut down way. Speaking up, at first glance, doesn’t seem like much help either. But on closer examination, I now feel it does help. It helps the collective consciousness of humanity if people will stop and acknowledge that what has happened is wrong in every sense – regardless of country, national acceptance, or religious practice. We can’t run off to a foreign country and even if we did, what could we accomplish once we arrived? But what we can do is pause, find that still place within ourselves in this harried world, call out what is not right. Call out what is not love. It is a small step that will become bigger each time we do it. Thank you for your article and allowing me to see my role in this news story.

    • Reply
      The Soulful Doctor
      30th May 2014 at 9:57 am

      yes – thank you Gayle – you are quite correct. I agree at first glance speaking up in our own families and territories may not seem to be doing much for such atrocities – but it is step by step as we co-create a collective consciousness that says no to all forms of abuse, violence, misogyny and more. It’s not going to happen over night but bit by bit we can all do our bit to say no to any form of abuse, misogyny and so forth. One thing is for sure – silence has never worked in ending abuse and it never will – it only gives free reign to it and so by remaining silent we too become complicit in the act of abuse. OUCH. If the world is to change then we have to change to make it so – we each have a responsbility for the world we co-create and we can start by saying no, speaking up, calling to account anytime we hear or witness even so called minor episodes (that are not so minor!) or incidences of disrespect, abuse, misogyny and so forth. 

    • Reply
      Jo Billings
      16th August 2014 at 8:52 pm

      Eunice, I appreciate your simple “what we CAN do” offering. It is the responsibility of every person who is still free enough to speak out to pull up anyone near them who may be slipping into beliefs which can get so far away from our true humanity. I always felt pain in my body as a child when my brother would say the saying “sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me”. It is a pure lie. Words can hurt and can lead to broken lives.

  • Reply
    Megan Flynn
    30th May 2014 at 11:43 pm

    Thank you for speaking out about an issue that came to light in the media this week and helping me to understand that it is the responsibility of each one of us to call out when we see or feel people being treated with disrespect or abuse no matter how big or how small.
    It is not only men, husbands, fathers and brothers treating women disrespectfully…In any one week stories are exposed of men and women treating each other with complete disregard. Men abusing children in many different ways, either leaving another wounded, broken or even killed. Family members turning on each other, colleagues competing against colleagues, teachers disrespecting students, church leaders looking the other way when members of their flock are being abused. Right down to sports people going onto the field with the intent of beating by force for the glory of a win.
    It can seem overwhelming and easy to switch off and become absorbed in our own world and our own lives. When this happens it can allow another to disrespect or abuse us in many subtle ways, because we have been led to believe that is the way it is.
    More and more I can feel that this is not the way it is. We are all deeply loving and capable of honouring ourselves and others in all of our interactions.
    This week I called out a colleague who verbally turned on me in the work place. It felt very uncomfortable and I chose to ask for help in dealing with the situation. This was not easy for me as I didn’t want to cause a stir or create a fuss or open up to something I felt I couldn’t handle or deal with. Yet it felt right to speak out.
    By doing this and really feeling into my pattern of silence, I felt supported by the people I turned to for help. The hard feeling I was having and racing mind subsided leaving me feeling more clarity and more able to serve the people I work with.
    Thank you for reminding me that co-creation of a world based on equality and love can be simple and starts with me saying no when I observe and feel myself or another being treated less than who we truly are.

  • Reply
    Esther Auf der Maur
    30th May 2014 at 11:47 pm

    Thank you Eunice for your article – this is just beyond comprehension how these men can justify killing their own family member. And as you said, so much violence against women is happening all around us – I know it’s huge here in Australia as well. We do need to stand up and say: “Enough is enough.” We are so much more than that sort of behaviour – men and women. Indeed we all need to say “No, this is not acceptable under any circumstances”. Violence, bullying and any sort of controlling behaviour against women and girls is totally unacceptable.

  • Reply
    Kate Burns
    26th August 2014 at 7:45 am

    Thank you Eunice for posting this shocking article and much needed call to action for us all, on every level to call out mysogony. As I looked into this story further it has also come to light that the womans husband had murdered his first wife, strangling her to death, to get her out of the way so he could marry Farzana. He received no sentance because the family ‘forgave him’ – which put him beyond the law. The womans family had also previously murdered another of their daughers after a ‘fall out’ with her husband. Farzanas extreme case was not isolated. Nor is Pakistan alone in these horrific crimes against humanity. Papua New Guinea has an appaulingly high level of extreme violence towards women, husbands who cut off limbs with bush knives, women accused of witch craft burned to death or beheaded after being gang raped, and so the list goes on. Reports estimate that at least 70% of women in PNG will be raped or sererely assulted at least once in their lives. The police, on the whole, do nothing, and are also often involved directly in the violence.
    As you say Eunice, in the UK or Australia we may not widely accept women being stoned to death, or burnt alive, or children being gang raped or having limbs cut off….but if this is the extreme end of the violence towards women, we must stop and ask ourselfves several questions….1.does an act of misogyny further ‘down’ the spectrum make it ok? Or does it all possibly contribute to the extreme end of the spectrum and make its existence possible? and 2. How are we each of us personally contributing in our daily lives to this global phenomena of devaluing women, on any level?
    I love where you say:
    ‘And that is only the violent tip of the misogyny iceberg for the ways that many men still attempt to control, demean, bully, dominate, humiliate and impose upon women are manifold – and it will continue so long as we lie back and allow it.

    I too have been guilty of that – I have often given my power away to men and allowed them to control or dominate. Thankfully I am now more aware of it and so I can begin to say no….when I feel it is happening, to have the self-worth to speak up and call it out.’

    I have stopped after reading this Eunice to name several ways I might take the next step in cherishing and valuing myself as a woman – and in so doing, knowing THIS if globalised will eradicate the whole phenomena of women being less, being objects, being possesions. If we each as women claim our own worth as the fair and radiant beings we all naturally are – without needing to look a certain way, or prove ourselves with deeds, or appease, or comply or ‘not rock the boat’then all points along this spectum of horror will one day be no more. Women (and men too) are precious beyond our current understanding.

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