Several Muslim women activists discuss their stories and the state of women's rights in Muslim-majority nations.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Raheel Raza ...
Herself
Raquel Evita Saraswati ...
Herself - Criminal Journalist
Juliana Taimoorazy ...
Herself; Activist
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Honor Diaries features nine courageous women's rights advocates with roots in Muslim-majority societies. These women, who have witnessed firsthand the hardships women endure, are profiled in their efforts to affect change, both in their communities and beyond. Freedom of movement, the right to education, forced marriage, and female genital mutilation are some of the systematic abuses explored in depth. The film gives a platform to exclusively female voice and seeks to expose the paralyzing political correctness that prevents many from identifying, understanding and addressing this international human rights disaster. More than a movie, Honor Diaries is a movement meant to inspire viewers to learn more about issues facing women in Muslim-majority societies, and to act for change. Written by Anonymous

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This is a great film, but the title is misleading.
26 November 2015 | by (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews

Honor Diaries (2013) is a documentary directed by Micah Smith. The footage was shot during a two-day session that brought together nine active feminists from around the world. They are human rights leaders, and they are horrified by the terrible discrimination faced by women in the Muslim world.

In countries with a strongly theocratic and patriarchal social system, women must dress in a certain way and act in a certain way. If there is even a hint of a threat to the family's honor, they are subject to brutal--and sometimes fatal--punishment. The activists also discussed the horrible problem of female genital mutilation.

The biggest message that I received from this film is that we are betraying women in those societies by keeping silent. Of course, if you speak out against these practices, you are accused of being an Islamophobe, and of trying to impose your values on another society. The women in the film say that turning away from the horrors imposed on women in those societies is easy. Taking a position that this is a human rights issue is much harder. Still, taking a stand is what they are calling on us to do.

This film is shocking when we learn about the horrors heaped upon the women in those societies. There is a hopeful note--although not a strong one--that there is a possibility of change if enough voices are raised against these human rights violations. At least, we can keep these brutal customs out of the U.S., Canada, and England.

This is an excellent film, and worth seeking out. We saw it in the wonderful Dryden Theatre of the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, NY. It will work just as well on the small screen. Honor Diaries was shown as part of Rochester's High Falls Film Festival.

P.S. I don't know why the movie is called "Honor Diaries," because no diary was involved. Of course, one of the most horrific human rights violations is "honor killings." However, the human rights activists explored many other topics as well. However, the title really isn't important. This is an important movie, and definitely worth seeing.


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