Cosmopolitan UK is doing something different for its latest issue. Something we should all think about.
Advertising agency Leo Burnett designed a special cover for the magazine's February issue to show the image of a struggling woman wrapped in plastic.
The cover is meant to draw attention to the issue of "honour killings." It refers specifically to the case of Shafilea Ahmed, a British Pakistani teen whose parents suffocated her with a plastic bag after she resisted an arranged marriage in 2003.
Ahmed's parents were sentenced to life in prison in 2012.
An "honour killing" takes place when "the supposed offender against family ‘honour’ is killed to restore the ‘honour’ which has supposedly been lost through her behaviour," says the Honour Based Violence Awareness Network (HBVA).
Cosmopolitan has released the cover as part of a campaign against honour killings, which it has conducted in partnership with Karma Nirvana, an organization that works to stop "honour crimes and forced marriages."
The hope is that readers will pick up the issue and free her from the plastic, The Daily Mail reported.
Leo Burnett also produced an accompanying six-second film showing the plastic being ripped off the magazine.
The agency designed the cover through Leo Burnett Change, a division that focuses on "not-for-profit and behavioural change communications," Dandad.org reported.
It was launched at an event at the UK Parliament on Wednesday, as part of the release of a report by the Henry Jackson Society titled, "Honour Killings in the U.K." The findings are intended to stir action on violence against women, The Independent reported.
Readers won't be able to buy the magazine with this cover, as it was only made for the Wednesday event, the Mail pointed out.
The U.K. has also set aside a day to recognize the victims of honour killings. Starting this year, it is to take place on July 14 — Ahmed's birthday.
The HBVA estimates that 5,000 honour killings take place around the world every year. It suggests 12 deaths in the U.K., 1,000 in India and 1,000 in Pakistan are attributed to the practice annually.
Canada is no stranger to them, either. A 2012 University of Sherbrooke study found honour killings were on the rise: 12 had been recorded since 1999, while only three were reported from 1954 to 1983, QMI Agency reported.
That study came amid the trial of three members of Montreal's Shafia family.
Father Mohammad Shafia, along with his wife Tooba and his son Hamed, were convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of his daughters Zainab, Sahar and Geeti and his first wife Rona Mohammad in 2012, in a case that shed much light on the issue.
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