Two sisters who were victims of “honour hate” in their community are to work to raise awareness of it in schools.
Amaleehah and Nadia Aslam-Forrester, from Bristol, were bullied by members of the Asian community for posting photos of themselves in skirts online.
The sisters, who have a Pakistani mother and English father, said they were “slut-shamed” for not upholding cultural norms of women’s behaviour.
They are now working with a charity to educate children about the issue.
So-called honour crimes are acts that have been committed to protect or defend the supposed honour or reputation of a family and community.
Amaleehah Aslam-Forrester, 22, said the pair had always been creative and would use Instagram to express their love of art, modelling and clothes.
However, they faced a backlash online for the photographs because of what they said were “deeply ingrained cultural pressures”.
Their social media presence also alarmed their mother, who herself has faced honour-related violence and was shunned for marrying a non-Muslim English man.
Worried about their safety, she put the sisters in touch with Integrate, a youth-led charity in Bristol which has campaigned for gender and racial equality and been supported by Sport Relief.
They attended a series of workshops with other young women about issues including female genital mutilation, sexism and honour-based violence and eventually made a film about the issue.
Amaleehah said: “In our community, honour lies within the body of a woman.
“There’s always pressure on her to uphold men’s honour in her behaviour and also in the way she dresses.
“We had one case where someone told us to drink bleach [on social media].
“We got a lot of hate messages. Some people were anonymous, making fake accounts. It was awful.
“And that was all because we were being judged, there was stereotyping involved.”
She said “slut-shaming” in general was about women’s honour and also happened in Western culture.
“Integrate gave us a voice in a community that didn’t really understand us.”
The sisters are now both employed to raise awareness of honour hate in Asian communities in schools across the UK.