a plate of roti

Photo via ToscaWhi/Getty Images

This kind of gendered family killing is, unfortunately, common.

A father in Pakistan has been sentenced to death for murdering his daughter because she couldn’t make bread correctly.

Khalid Mehmood killed his 12-year-old daughter, Aneequa, in 2015, after she failed to make satisfactory gol roti, a type of flatbread. Though he later admitted to the crime, he first tried to cover it up by claiming she was missing, and telling authorities he was worried she had been abducted. However, her body was found outside a hospital, and neighbors said they worried he had beaten her so badly she died of her injuries.

Women and girls being killed by male family members for not acting the way the men think they should, while taboo in all cultures, is unfortunately common. In Pakistan, social media star Quandeel Baloch was killed by her brother for her perceived “indecency.” Elsewhere, women have been murdered for not giving birth to a son, for destroying a Star Wars toy collection, for spending too much money, and for not having sex.

It’s easy to point to murder as the actions of the deranged, and insist that good men would never do such a thing. However, these are the extremes that exist when misogyny is accepted and even encouraged in other ways. Murder is wrong, but sending rape and death threats is OK by Twitter and violating a woman’s boundaries is considered flirting. Murder is extreme, but not out of the question when women’s bodies are not considered their own.

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