Searching for honor
Before, life was simple. The rhythm of the seasons allow fertile soil to flourish, sustaining the people who honor it. For four decades, her family had lived from the food they harvested. She was 16. Nearly 70, her father was still cultivated the family’s wheat field, a small plot of land. But then came the soldiers. Feudal landlords sometimes use intimidation to get tenant farmers to vacate their land. Well connected, the landlords can count on the military and the police to help them frighten the tenants. The soldiers ordered the family to move. Their plot of land was their mainstay. So they resisted. They clung to the little they had. The men came back several times. And then the fateful night happened. Taking advantage of the isolation of the house, and of the nighttime darkness, six men entered the house. Saying they were the police. One man then held a gun to her mother. Another pinned her young brother to the floor. One of the men raped her. The leader of the group had masked his face with a scarf. Her mother recognized his voice. He was the local police constable. Now, each day is a painful struggle as she and her family try to recover a little of their lost honor.
Attempting to find justice, they are forced to go back and forth between the police station and the courthouse. Unable to be heard, they have to contend with some new defeat each day: Clues are ignored; the paperwork and the physical evidence are “lost”; the police refuses to press charges. There are thousands of similar cases. Yet rarely do these claims, filed by the few courageous lawyer, ever make it to trial.
Text written by Rachel Deghati. Picture taken on assignment for National Geographic, published in "War+ peace" (National Geographic, 2008) and "Entre Guerre et Paix" (National Geographic, 2008). #women #farmer #mother #tragedy #land #family #pakistani #honor #portrait #face #pakistaniwomen #photooftheday #photojournalism #reza #rezaphoto #rezadeghati #rezaphotography #rezaphotojournalist #webistan #رضادقتى#عكاس @thephotosociety