Spurned, the man sought out revenge.
As far as we come each day, each year, and each generation, once in a while we are reminded of how far we have left to go.
Today, women’s rights remain a contested issue across the globe, differing greatly from culture to culture and country to country. Since ancient times, women have struggled with oppression in Greece, China, Rome, and beyond. In ancient Athens, women had even fewer rights than slaves.
In many places still, things are slow to change. For the past 40 years, gender discrimination has been outlawed in Pakistan, but the Council of Islamic Ideology’s recent proposal to the Pakistani legislature may put that progress in peril. The proposal suggests that husbands should be able to “lightly beat” their wives for a variety of supposed infractions.
If that weren’t bad enough, a horrifying story coming from outside the Pakistani city of Murree shows just how poorly some women are still being treated. This alarming report calls for immediate action, especially in the face of such proposed legislation that could worsen the position of women in Pakistani society.
She was burned alive for refusing to marry…
Maria Sadaqat was a 19-year-old schoolteacher at a private school in a village near Murree outside of Islamabad.
Recently, the school’s principal approached Maria and her family to propose a marriage between Maria and his nephew, a divorcee twice her age. When they refused the offer, she became the target of harassment and, according to some reports, had to resign from her post.
But apparently that was not enough punishment.
The Wrath of Men
Earlier this week, Maria returned home to find a mob of men waiting there for her. They tortured her before covering her body in gasoline and lighting her on fire. Then the men left her crying for help, but she was badly burnt by the time neighbors were able to intervene.
Maria was brought to the hospital, where 85% of her body was reportedly covered in serious burns. Despite her injuries, Maria testified against the men who attacked her.
Among them: the principal of her school.