Here's Why Sharmeen's Oscar Win is More Important Than You Thought

By Haadia Paracha | 3 Mar, 2016

The week started off with a bang when much celebrated and internationally acclaimed journalist, activist and film-maker won her second Academy Award for a documentary on honour killings in Pakistan.

Honour killings not only rob women not only of the right to their own life but also turn men into savages. The practice does not restore any lost “pride” of the family, only makes for a cruel, barbaric act. Movies like Sharmeen’s allow a debate on such orthodox practices that need to be abandoned immediately.


The win for Sharmeen was majestic.


Right after the announcement of the award and in fierce jubilance, Sharmeen tweeted:


Twitter Pakistan joined in with their shared pride.

It was a marked day for celebration and victory.


Along with this great victory, Women’s Protection Bill was also passed, adding to the joy.


Which was not only a win for Pakistan but for all of Humanity.


Many acknowledged the power of film.


There was an upset over Sharmeen’s film projecting a negative image of Pakistan. Many talked about this sarcastically, with a hint of humour.


Pointing out the irony.


Other objections were also raised.


Many talked about the said ‘negative image’ of Pakistan.


Highlighting the evils in the society that are widely present and need to be immediately addressed.


Shots were fired.


Keyboard warriors were also encouraged to be more proactive.


Activists joined in, lauding Sharmeen in her pursuit of the bold subject and appreciating her efforts.


A Girl in the River will be screened at the United Nations.


Sharmeen stands as the only woman of colour to have won an Oscar this year.


She is also one of the two from this part of the world to have had the honour.


She graced the red carpet wearing a floor-length black coat and matching dress by a Pakistani designer, Sana Safinaz. MORE POWER.


There is a dire need to change the conversation about Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy. “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness”, followed the story of an honour killing survivor in Pakistan, shedding light on a raging concern in various quarters as well as a gross human rights violation. Sharmeen was able to demonstrate the transformational power of film and the need to speak up. Citizens like her are the real heroes of Pakistan, who continue to fight against tyranny with their words, actions and continued dedication.

We are supremely proud of you, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy. You’re a force majeure.


More power to women like Sharmeen changing narratives.


And men who support their endeavours and work by their side.


Cover photo source: BBC

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