Honor Diaries: What Honor Really Means
For women across the world, honor can mean many things. And while some consider honor a positive term, there are millions of women who suffer under an oppressive form of honor, often referred to as ‘honor violence’.
To them, “honor means being told who to love, what to wear, how to speak and how to think. Honor means you have no education, no voice and no stake in your future. Honor means your body isn’t yours. For too many, honor can mean rape, mutilation and death.” Until now.
Our team, and hundreds of others, attended the Chicago and Los Angeles premieres of Honor Diaries: the untold story of countless women and girls who suffer from honor crimes, told exclusively through women’s voices.
Co-Produced by one of our clients, Julie Smolyansky of Lifeway Foods, the film is the first to break the silence on ‘honor violence.’ And with a cast comprised of female human rights activists, including New York Times Bestselling author Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Honor Diaries clearly demonstrates that “culture is no excuse for abuse.”
“Overall I thought the documentary was eye-opening, saddening and inspiring,” says Kristi Huber, Marketing Manager at I Imagine. “It has inspired me to share the story and to contribute to the cause.”
As Nazie Eftekhari, founder and principal architect of HealthEZ and founder of The Araz Group, the first preferred provider organization in the country, says in the film, “We don’t need sympathy, empathy, pity. We don’t need the Nobel Prize. We need systematic change in the Muslim world so millions of women aren’t daily victims of misogyny.”
The first step to helping these women is through awareness and education. And as a women-owned agency, our team has taken a personal interest in helping spread the movement. One of the topics discussed by the panel included how we can get involved through social media.
“Creating awareness and making the Western culture aware that the various abuse women are suffering is not just cultural—or even geographical. This film opened my eyes to how global the issue is, and how clearly these crimes violate basic human rights,” says Eleni Kripintiris, Production Manager at I Imagine.
In patriarchal societies like Saudi Arabia, women and girls are treated like property, forced into marriages and undergo female genital mutilation. And it’s happening in America. 3,000 cases of forced marriage have occurred in the United States over the past two years alone.
So while Women’s Month is coming to an end, our mission to help spread the word will continue. “Only when women come together and break the silence, can their suffering end.” Imagine a world where no woman has to live in fear of honor violence.
With their Sexual Violence and Support Services program, the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago is providing assistance to victims of sexual assault, educating about the effects of violence in our community and promoting general health and wellness.