Statement by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka on the “Honour Killing” of Farzana Parveen in Lahore, Pakistan

Date : 29 May 2014

I join people around the world in condemnation of the murder of Farzana Parveen. The brutal and public killing of a young pregnant woman by members of her own family is a crime utterly without honour.

Farzana’s perceived wrongdoing was to be married without her family’s consent, her right under Pakistani law. No custom or tradition can possibly justify or excuse this inhuman act. Around the world, perpetrators of horrific crimes against women and girls routinely escape accountability, perpetuating a culture of violence and discrimination. The location of her murder, directly outside a courthouse, makes the sense of impunity and injustice all the more stark.

UN Women calls for justice in Farzana Parveen’s case. Public statements from the Government of Pakistan are encouraging, and the country has recently enacted legislation to protect women from violence. This shocking crime demonstrates the critical need for laws to be implemented and enforced, starting with the rigorous and swift prosecution of this case and others like it.

In Pakistan, UN Women remains focused on working closely with authorities to widen access to justice for women and girls, support legal and policy reform, and promote zero tolerance for violence against women.

This murder, like the thousands of “honour killings” that occur globally each year, is a symptom of gender inequality and discrimination. As we condemn Farzana’s murder and mourn her passing, world leaders must declare an end to impunity for violence against women and a redoubling of efforts to create a world in which every person is valued equally and women exercise fundamental rights and freedoms.