Published in The Magazine, Dawn
On Sunday, August 23, 1998

You are walking with your seven-year-old daughter when you seen a man being taken away by his peers. There is blood on his clothes, and he still holds the knife with which he stabbed his wife. You quickly lead your little girl away, fearing that the sight may have frightened her.

Back in the village hotel, you ask the waiters what had happened. They say he had attacked his wife because she had ventured outside her house when he wasn't home, and a neighbour had reported this to him. That was enough. Her husband went berserk, for according to the code of his tribe, a woman who went out alone was immoral and deserved to die.

Your daughter is furious. "Do you know what I'd do if I ever became prime minister of this country? I'd lock up all such men permanently in their houses so they'll know how it feels to be enslaved!"

You smile. Your little girl has a lot to learn.

By Shakir Lakhani