As seen on The New York Times, BBC, NPR, The Guardian, Agence France Presse, Al Jazeera and several other Arabic language news outlets, Khadija Siddiqi’s story has been widely covered around the world due to its moving revelation of current social norms regarding violent treatment towards women. Khadija was a law student in Pakistan, only a few days away from taking her Bar Exam, when the most unimaginable event transpired; she was violently attacked in broad daylight by a fellow classmate.
Growing up in Pakistan where the inequalities between women and men are visibly apparent, Khadija was surrounded by social norms in her youth but experienced the virulent influence it had in the justice system when her own equity was brought into question. On May 3rd, 2016 Khadija was attacked and stabbed 23 times by fellow student, Shah Hussain, in a vengeful attempt to end her life after she had rejected his romantic advances months before. Shah Hussain had attempted to carry out what is considered in Pakistan as an “honour killing”, an act frequently overlooked and even excused as means to bringing honor back into a family. In Pakistan alone, there are estimated to be more than 1,000 cases of “honour killings” a year, and none of them brought to justice, much less brought to the attention of the court system.
Khadija Survived the brutal attack, and in this episode we dive into her experience through the attack, how she found the courage to fight for justice and the changes she believes are necessary to continue to protect women’s rights in Pakistan, and worldwide.