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Books to Help Butterflies

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Book Reviews

These are books that Hannah has found helpful, which will change or be added to from time to time.

These 2 books are specifically helpful for understanding the shame and honour culture in many Asian communities in Britain.


IN THE NAME OF HONOUR By Mukhtar Mai

This is the inspiring and very insightful story of a young woman in Pakistan who fought against the odds in a shame and honour culture. Hannah has often used it to help westerners understand the concepts of ‘honour’ and ‘shame’ in the Asian culture.

Mukhtar writes at the end of the book:
"I have become, in spite of myself, a symbol for all those women who suffer the violence of patriarchs and tribal chiefs… That is the true honour of my homeland: to allow a woman, educated or illiterate, to speak out in protest against injustice done to her. Because the real question my country must ask itself is, if the honour of men lies in women, why do men want to rape or kill that honour?"


CRIMES OF THE COMMUNITY: Honour based violence in the UK by James Brandon and Salam Hafez

This is the most in-depth and comprehensive study of honour based violence carried out in the UK. Although it doesn’t mention violence as a result of conversion it is very helpful in explaining why traditional ideas of honour can cause violence. It ends with a description of how community leaders, social workers and the government can help to tackle this violence.

One of its suggestions:
"Tackle ideas of honour in schools. Schools should play a key role in ending honour-based violence. Children must be taught sexual equality and that violence against women is wrong. Schools can work with immigrant-focused refuges and women’s groups to raise awareness of issues and of the assistance available to those at risk."



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