Taslim Solangi (a.k.a. Tasleem Solangi) was murdered in Pakistan 8 months ago, and the news is just recently hitting the press. She was the victim of a supposed “honor killing” — her father says it was cover-up for a land dispute — based on a claim that she was 8 months pregnant by a man not her husband. Taslim was forced to give birth, and the baby was thrown into a canal. Taslim was then put in front of dogs to be mauled, and subsequently shot dead. She was 17-years-old.
Female senators staged a walkout from the federal parliament Monday to press for action on better protections for women after a national newspaper published details of Tasleem Solangi’s death.
“How long will women be buried alive and made to face hungry dogs? Women are not given their rights,” opposition lawmaker Semi Siddiqui said.
Ibrahim Solangi, 28, has been in custody ever since Taslim’s death in March and is awaiting trial on murder charges, said Pir Mohammad Shah, the police chief of the Khairpur Mirs district in southern Pakistan. Taslim’s husband was also her first cousin.
Human rights groups say hundreds of women are killed by male relatives every year in Pakistan for alleged infidelity or other perceived slights to the family name, and activists say many more cases go unreported.
In August, a Pakistani lawmaker drew fierce criticism after describing a case in which five women were allegedly buried alive for trying to choose their husbands as the product of “centuries-old traditions” that he would defend.
As in that case, the allegations surrounding the death of Tasleem Solangi remain unproven.
Speaking to reporters in Karachi on Monday, Taslim’s father said he was locked up in his home and forced to watch from a window as dogs chased her and then mauled her when she fell down exhausted. She then was shot, he said.
Whether Taslim and her baby were murdered so brutally and grotesquely due to alleged adultery or due to a land dispute is largely irrelevant. The results are the same and they are equally appalling and unjust. Either way, she was used as a tool of patriarchal revenge. Like with 13-year-old Asha Ibrahim Dhuhulow in Somalia, Taslim Solangi was murdered because she was a woman and therefore believed to be a subhuman piece of property by her killers. She was murdered because her killers thought that due to her status as a woman, no one would care about her death.
I hope that the female senators who walked out of parliament in protest are evidence that her killers were wrong. Like everywhere that violence against women exists, it will not stop until those perpetrating it are proven wrong, until their actions are risen up against and shown to be unacceptable both to the masses and to those in power. It will not stop until it’s demanded loudly enough, by both women and their allies. And it has to fucking stop. If there was ever evidence of that, Taslim’s murder is it. It has to fucking stop.