On July 20, 27 year old Noor Mukdam, daughter of former diplomat Shaukat Mukadam, was murdered and tortured by an acquaintance — Zahir Jaffer, son of a well-off family and dual Pakistan-United States national, according to CNN. Unfortunately, this is only one of many femicides that have occurred in Pakistan. While it is difficult to bring light to such topic, CNN stated in the article, “The beheading of a diplomat’s daughter shows how badly Pakistan is failing its women,” how, “the beheading of an ambassador’s daughter promises to test a legal system activists say has repeatedly failed victims of violence and needs urgent reform” as it finally was getting more recognition.
After her tragic death, Pakistanis decided to spread this issue worldwide by trending #JusticeforNoor on Twitter and creating a GoFundMe to help her family’s legal fees that hit almost $50,000 before her family asked for it to be closed in a message on the site.
“The message suggested the family faces a long legal battle, despite claims of “strong circumstantial and forensic evidence” of Jaffer’s guilt by their chief legal counsel, Shah Khawar.”CNN article, “The beheading of a diplomat’s daughter shows how badly Pakistan is failing its women,”
Activists are promoting this case specifically for Pakistan’s Parliament to pass a law that prohibit domestic violence. While it would only apply to the Islamabad Capital Territory if passed, it would likely encourage other provinces to take similar action. Domestic violence has been normalized and silenced in Pakistan for years, and feminist activists are concerned that the all-male Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) will kill both the bill and their respect for women.
“The council has a poor record on domestic violence — in 2016, it proposed its own bill to allow men to “lightly beat” their wives.”CNN article, “The beheading of a diplomat’s daughter shows how badly Pakistan is failing its women,”
According to Pakistan’s Demographic and Health Survey from 2017-2018, around 28% of women between ages 15 to 49 have experienced physical violence since the age of 15. Often times violence within marriage and relationships go unreported because of Pakistan’s patriarchal cultural norm, however societal views are not the only things stopping women from reporting. Pakistan’s criminal justice system views domestic violence as a “private matter” between relationships and often results in no criminal penalties.
Since the rising publicity from Noor Mukdam’s unjust death, actions have been taken from around the world to help. Protests were held in places such a Dublin, Los Angeles, New York, London, and Toronto, where activists preach against femicide in Pakistan in honor of Noor Mukdam.