Pakistani-Canadian filmmaker, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy has won her second Oscar for a documentary film "A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness”.
The film highlights the common practice of honor killings that take place around the world, in which men kill female family members for “dishonoring them.”
However, a Protection of Women Against Violence Bill 2015 passed in Pakistan last week declares physical violence, abusive language, stalking, cyber crimes, etc, against women a crime.
Chinoy’s documentary revolves around the story of Saba Qaiser, a young Pakistani woman, who got away with an attempted honor killing by her father and uncle for marrying someone they disapproved.
"This is what happens when determined women get together," Obaid-Chinoy said while speaking at the 88th Academy Awards. "This week the Pakistani Prime Minister has said that he will change the law on honor killing after watching this film. That is the power of film."
Chinoy’s win just goes to show that for a country like Pakistan, making movies about such social and domestic issues can actually make a huge difference. Only when someone raises their voice against such injustices happening, do authorities actually take note of it, and pass laws that would protect the oppressed from such atrocities.
One can only hope that the Pakistan Oscar winners’ efforts will not be forgotten and soon enough a bill against honor killings will also be passed, giving women more right over their lives and freedom of choice.