Monday, January 19, 2015

Kudos to Cosmo....Powerful Message

Cosmopolitan's UK edition deserves a standing O for their powerful message about honour killings.
For February this year, they have produced a limited edition front cover, depicting a distressed women, shrouded in a grey, steamy mist and enveloped in a plastic sheath.

The honour killings cover mock-up [Cosmopolitan/Leo Burnett Change]
The honour killings cover mock-up [Cosmopolitan/Leo Burnett Change]

The plastic wrapper on the magazine has been used to represent the suffocation that was inflicted upon Shafilea Ahmed, at the her parents, in front of her siblings.
Reportedly, she had committed no crime, save turning down a suitor for an arranged marriage.
Shafilea had previously also swallowed bleach in a presumed suicide attempt.
According to Cosmopolitan, around 5,000 honour killings are carried out each year globally, which they produced in connection with charity Karma Nirvana, which supports victims of honour crimes and unwanted arranged marriages.
Sadly, according to a Cosmo post, this is not the front cover, but the back and won't be available for sale, meaning it won't have quite the reach and visibility that we would have hoped for.
It is, nonetheless, still a powerful image and is being circulated among the British press, which is great.
According to a new report by Emily Dyer, research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, the majority of honour killings are carried out on women, by members of their family, for "crimes" that can include refusing arranged marriages, or for being in a relationship with someone that has not been approved by the family.
Due to the nature of the issue, the true scale of these crimes is unknown, but the report states that at least 29 of these honour killings or attempted killings have been reported in the British press within the last five years.
The worst part of the research is the section that explains that these sorts of murders are still being carried out by second and even third generation immigarants, born in the UK, suggesting that it is not a dying trend. This is a custom I can't begin to comprehend. There is virtually nothing we can do to discourage this practice. So tragic.

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