Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Maps For Lost Lovers

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Maps For Lost Lovers

by Nadeem Aslam

Maps For Lost Lovers by Nadeem Aslam
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  • First Published:
    May 2005, 400 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2006, 400 pages

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Honor Killings: Map For Lost Lovers explores many issues within the Muslim community, including the central theme of honor killings. According to Amnesty International, an average of 2 women are killed each day in Pakistan for 'betraying the honor of the family' (the reasons for this loss of honor could range from infidelity, including being the victim of rape, through to simply being a bad cook). Last year, President Pervez Musharraf signed a bill making honor killings an explicit criminal act punishable by death. Prior to this it was possible to be acquitted in most cases under a "grave and sudden provocation" clause.

In 2002 UNICEF estimated that 5,000 women were being killed in India alone each year because their dowries were considered insufficient. 

According to The United Nations Population Fund, on a global level:

  • One in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex, or abused in some other way.
  • At least 60 million girls who would otherwise be expected to be alive are "missing" from various populations, mostly in Asia, as a result of sex-selective abortions, infanticide or neglect.
  • Two million girls between ages 5 and 15 are introduced into the commercial sex market each year.
  • At least 130 million women have been forced to undergo female genital mutilation or cutting.

For more about gendercide including "honor killings" try Gendercide Watch (I was initially concerned that the information on this website might be out of date due to the copyright notice of 2000/2002.  However, close inspection found articles from 2004 and Google records show that some pages have been updated in the past 3 months, so this does appear to be a reasonably up to date source of information.)

This article was originally published in May 2005, and has been updated for the May 2006 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

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