To reduce sexual and gender based violence once again, Nai Supporting open media in Afghanistan asks all local and international media outlets to avoid using of those words and terms which provoke further violence against women in the country.
In order to find the synonyms and alternatives words and terms, those are recognized which provoke violence against women, Nai office had held a series of meeting with few famous writers, experts, elites and linguists in the country. Mr. Rahnaward Zaryab, one of the well-known writer believes that the following terms must be used:
1. Instead of term of honor killing, term of so-called honor killing must be used;
2. Instead of term of beating up or killing, she is charged with escaping from home, term of killing of beating up by family (Father, Mother, Brother or … etc)
“Journalists must be aware of the effects that the words they are using and repeating in their stories have on society. This is part of our journalistic responsibility,” said Abdul Mujeeb Khalvatgar, Executive Director of Nai Supporting Open Media in Afghanistan.
Killing a person for any reason is murder. Adding the word “honor” to “killing” has the effect of qualifying the crime and mitigating the offence.
“When journalists use the term “honor killing” in their stories, they are reinforcing beliefs of some readers and members of society who see murder as an acceptable expression of culture. For readers who don’t know what “honor killings” are, the term immediately gives them a biased perspective of the crime, exonerates the perpetrator, and places the blame on the victim,” said Halima Kazem, Nai’s consultant for a project that trains journalists to improve reporting on sexual and gender based violence in Afghanistan.
“The effects are exasperated when the terms are translated from English to Dari and Pashtu, because often times the translations are inaccurate or lacking the context in which the term was originally meant to be used in,” said Khalvatgar.
There is no question that it is a good thing to heighten awareness and understanding of why crimes happen, particularly if this encourages people to come forward and seek help. However, it is equally important to raise awareness that these incidents are crimes – rather than acceptable expressions of culture.
For more information please contact:
Abdul Mujeeb Khalvatgar, Executive Director of Nai Supporting Open Media in Afghanistan;
0774409923
mujeeb@nai.org.af