Nail Hammered Into Pregnant Pakistani Woman’s Head To Guarantee Birth Of Son: Report

Nail Hammered Into Pregnant Woman, Guidelines For Vaccination Of Pregnant Women, Libya Mediterranean Migrant Crisis, fat-shaming pregnant women
Disturbing reports have surfaced of a nail being hammered into a pregnant Pakistani woman’s head by a faith healer who assured her the act would guarantee the birth of a son. The woman is the mother of three girls and reportedly said she was pregnant with another girl. She sought medical help to get the nail extracted.

This incident is consistent with several South Asian cultures’ preference for sons, on the belief that they will serve as sources of economic stability of families, while daughters will prove to be a financial burden. This gender bias is widespread in Pakistan, various studies suggest.

(Trigger Warning: The following contains gory details that may be disturbing to some. Reader discretion is advised.) 

According to an AFP report, the faith healer allegedly pierced a two-inch long nail into the woman’s head when she visited him. It missed her brain but was inserted into the top of her forehead. She was in “immense pain” when she approached a hospital in Peshawar, a doctor was quoted saying.

Suggested Reading: Communal Faceoff: Is Karnataka Hijab Row Normalising Street Harassment Of Girls?

The report further states that the pregnant woman allegedly lied initially about the nail, saying she hammered it into herself on the healer’s advice. It was only later that she revealed it was the healer himself who carried out the act.

She sought medical intervention after her attempt to extract the nail with pliers by herself failed.

Police looking into the matter said they received CCTV footage from the hospital and are trying to track the woman down for more details. They aim to locate the healer.

Suggested Reading: Kitchen Shouldn’t Be The Only Place Women Are Allowed To Take Decisions

While abortion is illegal and the administrative authorities have claimed to take steps against female infanticide in Pakistan, reports indicate this practice has not been eradicated. As reported by Dawnthe Edhi Foundation charity recovered over 300 bodies from different parts of Karachi in 2019. Majority of the deceased were girls.

The stronghold of the culture of son preference in Pakistan was touted as a possible reason behind the findings.

According to Pakistan’s 2017 census, men form 51 percent of the population while women form a minority 49 percent, with the sex ratio of the country measuring up to 105 men for every 100 women.