Live, online screening of Honor Diaries

Followed by a live, online discussion with Raheel Raza

Watch the Trailer


Harvard GlobalWE invites its members to a live, worldwide screening and discussion of Honor Diaries on Saturday, June 21, 2014 from 11:00am-12:30pm Eastern Standard Time. 

Please join fellow Harvard alumni worldwide in this exclusive screening and discussion of the award-winning Honor Diaries, the first film to break the silence on "honor violence" against women and girls in certain Muslim-majority societies. The post-film discussion via live online video conference and chat will be moderated by Raheel Raza, a journalist, author, heralded human rights advocate, and one of nine women's rights activists featured in the film. 

We look forward to having you join us for this important screening and open, candid dialogue about the growing movement against honor violence, and the millions of women and girls affected by honor violence worldwide.

Event Summary

The following offers a summary of our Honor Diaires event, which took place on June 21, 2014.

Following the film, discussion kicked off with the first question: “What are the benchmarks for women’s empowerment in Muslim-majority countries?” A spirited dialogue followed, covering topics and posing questions including:


-What it’s like to live in a tolerant Muslim society, e.g. Dubai, with general freedoms

-“Honor” as cultural vs. religious, honor culture transcending religion, also idea of honor being part of religion and not so cut/dry

-Freedom as universal concept, not “western” concept; universal rights, not “western” rights

-Respect vs. equality and freedom

-Issues of humanity; human rights issues

-How do we enable respect for women as human beings who have the right to think/ express themselves in a more universal way?

-How do we shift the burden so that the honor of the family isn’t rooted in the women but in the family as a whole?

-Role of Sharia law and religion in justice, punishments for honor violence/killings/crimes

-Role of educating both men and women; idea of a mindset, respect needing to be taught at very young age

-Role of evolving economies; what are the other elements that influence respect; elements need to be part of dialogue

-FGM--African countries starting come forward, looking at education, culture does not mean abuse slogans, etc.

-Honor Diaries--role of film in raising awareness, part of educating; tool for discussion

-What allows people to perpetuate barbaric actions, what is the mindset, ideology, and what do we need to do to change that? Awareness, education, eradication

-Honor killings and FGM not part of Christian community, but idea of honor/shame prevalent (Pakistan)--speaks to culture vs. religion

-What needs to happen to change framework of the woman connected to husband or family, and honor vested in women’s behavior?

-Slow change when honor is embedded in culture

-Conviction of men that they are doing the right thing, justified through the faith or culture, religious duty, an ideology; punishment not a deterrent here

-The essential role of men in women’s rights and progress; a mindset that needs to be changed; may take a generation; essential role of education--boys and mothers raising boys; education starts at home

-What women in Muslim-majority societies would like to see re: progress?

-Progress already being made in many Muslim-majority societies; can’t negate positive changes taking place

-Easier to talk about positive change than the difficult and controversial issues; honor killings not easy to discuss in all societies, such as Pakistan

-What can we do to help these societies?

-Importance of speaking out and getting involved; need an army