South Asian Partnership (SAP-PK) on Monday arranged a theatre performance as a part of its We Can End Violence campaign to raise awareness of violence against women in Pakistan.
Maikoon Kari Kareenday Ni Mae (I am being killed for honour, O mother) was staged at the Ali Auditorium in collaboration with Ajoka Theatre.
The play tells the story of the proceedings of a punchayat sitting in judgment on the women of their village who have been accused of violating the tribal code of honour.
The play is set in a village where a sardar (chief) murders somebody over personal enmity. To get away with the crime he accuses the victim of having an affair with one of the village women. He speaks to other sardars and they start looking for the accused woman. Meanwhile, a shoemaker spots another couple and reports it to the sardars, who order the village men to look for this couple as well. To protect her lover the girl tells the sardars that she is the woman they had been looking for earlier. The punchayat pronounces her kari and orders her killed. However the women in her family help her flee with her lover to marry him. The play ends with several women approaching the punchayat and calling themselves kari to show their defiance. The play has been performed in most major cities as well as in areas where karo kari is practised.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2011.