Clarion’s Project’s Shireen Qudosi discusses the brutal murder of 19-year-old Nusrat Jahan Rafi, news of which catapulted around the world with horror and grief. The story comes out of Bangladesh, where madrassa student Rafi was set on fire by her peers (on orders from her headmaster) for filing a police report against the headmaster for sexually abusing her. It was a vicious form of gender violence that sparked protests throughout the country.
As Qudosi explains, in cases like these, human rights activists will need to do more than just promote women’s empowerment as the solution to unimaginable inhumanity and abuse:
Nusrat was already very empowered and yet her community still crushed her. We need to move the perimeter beyond women’s empowerment and think of the next set of gate keepers to power. Women’s empowerment doesn’t help women who aren’t empowered by their families and communities. That power has to be bestowed and recognized by the family. We need to impact the families by demystifying the faith and the authority we give to people in positions of power.
Watch Shireen’s message below to learn about what kind of campaigns can prevent future attacks like the one suffered by Nusrat Jahan Rabi.