In Pakistan a village council ordered the rape of a 16-year-old girl because her brother had allegedly raped a 12-year-old girl.
“A jirga [village council] had ordered the rape of a 16-year-old girl as punishment, as her brother had raped a 12-year-old,” police official Allah Baksh told AFP.
He said the village council was approached earlier this month by a man who said his 12-year-old sister had been raped by their cousin.
The council then ordered the complainant to rape the sister of the accused in return – which police say he did.
Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reported that the girl was forced to appear before the group and raped in front of them and her parents.
Does this sound familiar? We’ve seen it before. The BBC continues:
Jirgas, a kind of council formed of local elders, often settle disputes in rural Pakistan. However, they are illegal and have been condemned for a series of controversial rulings – including ordering so-called “honour killings” and past incidents of “revenge rape”.
In 2002, a jirga ordered the gang rape of 28-year-old Mukhtar Mai, above, whose 12-year-old brother was accused of an affair with an older woman.
Ms Mai took her rapists to court – an act of extraordinary courage in Pakistan, where sexual assault victims still face considerable stigma.
When their convictions were overturned by Pakistan’s Supreme Court, she was offered many ways out of the country. However, she chose to stay in her village and start a girls’ school and a women’s refuge yards away from where she was raped.
Pakistan’s GeoTV ran an opinion piece by Mukhtaran Mai herself:
When I heard about this incident in Multan, my blood pressure shot up. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. My 15 years of struggle and effort to highlight this injustice has gone to waste. Nothing I said or did was of any use.
The media will continue to raise the issues. The activists will continue to raise their voices. But unless the courts set a precedent and punish these men and their facilitators, not much will change.
Those in power, those in courts, those in police stations do not know what it is like for a woman to try to live a life after she has been assaulted. From then on, she is neither alive, nor dead. She is neither accepted by society, nor by her family.
One of the girls is 12 and the other is 16. If this isn’t barbarism, then I don’t know what is.
We’ve been saddled with an enemy, we human beings have: a permanent, will not go away enemy in the form of an immaterial and thus unaccountable All Powerful angry man who rules over us and punishes us and if we’re female treats us as if we’re not human. It’s bad enough that we live in a world bristling with actual human men of that type, with Putins and Dutertes and Erdogans and Mugabes and Trumps – but we have to go and invent an even worse one who is “a god” and therefore beyond our puny human attempts to argue or negotiate or refuse.
The Respect requirement means we’re not entirely free to tell people that if their scary boss man god tells them it’s fair and reasonable to rape a girl because her brother is accused of rape, then he’s evil and they should defy and disobey him. Humans should stop bending the knee to a cruel angry unjust “god,” but it doesn’t do to say so … and teenage girls go on being raped in rural villages.
In El Salvador:
A teenage rape victim in El Salvador has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for murder after having a stillbirth, the latest in a long line of failures of justice against pregnant women in the Central American country.
Evelyn Beatriz Hernandez Cruz, 19, from a small rural community in Cuscatlán, eastern El Salvador, was convicted on the grounds that failing to seek antenatal care amounted to murder.
Hernandez, a high school student, gave birth into the toilet in April 2016 after falling ill with acute back and stomach pain.
Hernandez, who at the time was 18, was in her third trimester, but hadn’t realised that she was pregnant. She had been repeatedly raped by a gang member over several months as part of a forced sexual relationship.
El Salvador has the world’s most ferociously absolute ban on abortion, with no exceptions for rape or to save the woman’s life. The Guardian reports that support for the ban is funded partly by a US anti-abortion group.
According to documents seen by the Guardian, Human Life International has for years directed a steady flow of dollars to Sí a la Vida, the Salvadoran organization principally responsible for the country’s abortion ban.
And what is Human Life International?
Human Life International – Pro-Life Missionaries to the World.
HLI defends both the God-given life and dignity of all human persons from conception until natural death, and the natural family based on marriage—the fundamental human institution defined by a lifetime union between one man and one woman that is open to life. As followers of Jesus Christ and members of the Catholic Church, our goal is to build a Culture of Life and of Love around the world through education, outreach, and advocacy.
A culture of Life and of Love in which a gang-raped 19-year-old is sentenced to thirty years in prison for having a miscarriage. The god here hates women and punishes them for men’s violence against women, and we can’t seem to get rid of it.