Her name was Shafilea Iftikhar Ahmed.
Shafilea, a British Pakistani girl, living between two cultures , was a bright student who wanted to become a solicitor. She behaved like a normal British adolescent. Shafilea’s parents disapproved of their daughter’s ‘westernised’ way of Life. Shafilea was only 10 when she began to rebel against her parents’ strict rules. They were ashamed by Shafilea’s attempts at freedom, forcing her to live a double life.
Shafilea had travelled to Pakistan where she rejected an arranged marriage partner. She had the power to say „No“ to her parents. In protest, she swallowed bleach, badly scarring her throat—an injury which required constant medical attention when she returned home. After trying to force the girl to accept the arranged marriage Shafilea’s parents were afraid her refusal would bring shame on the family.
She was only seventeen years old when she was murdered by her parents.
After an argument about Shafilea’s dress, her parents pushed her down on a couch, stuffed a thin white plastic bag into her mouth and held their hands over her mouth and nose until she died, Alesha, Shafilea’s younger sister, testified.
The parents of Shafilea Ahmed have been jailed for life after being convicted of her murder.
The judge told them: “Your concern about being shamed in your community was greater than the love of your child.”
Shafilea’s death has been tagged an “honour killing”.Shocking Cosmopolitan cover shows a woman suffocating in plastic to raise awareness about honor killings. Click To Tweet
Leo Burnett Change designed this shocking cover on Cosmopolitan magazine, showing a woman suffocating in plastic to raise awareness about honor killings. It is a part of a campaign for Karma Nirvana, the U.K. charity that helps victims of honor-based violence.
The campaign also includes a 7-second online film, made by Leo Burnett.
Karma Nirvana and Cosmopolitan, in partnership with the Henry Jackson Society, are organizing an inaugural Day of Memory for Britain’s Lost Women, which will take place July 14—the date of Shafilea Ahmed’s birthday.