Twenty-year-old Sonia Bibi incurred burns on 45 to 50 per cent of her body after her suitor attacked her in Multan, Pakistan. Getty Images

Twenty-year-old Sonia Bibi from Pakistan died after suffering from burns over 45 to 50 per cent of her body after a rejected suitor covered her in petrol, setting her ablaze. Bibi was attacked in the city of Multan.

According to reports, Bibi died at the Nishtar hospital on 3 November after being unable to survive through her wounds that got infected. She had been at the hospital since October and doctors initially believed she could have survived the attack.

What is honour killing?

Honour killings take place when a person
(usually a woman) is accused of bringing shame upon their family. The killing – usually carried out by family members – aims to restore honour.

Her suitor, identified as 24-year-old Latif Ahmed, reportedly attacked her after she refused to marry him. In her statement to the police, Bibi had said that she had fallen out of love with Ahmed.

According to the Aurat Foundation, over 3,000 women have died following similar attacks since 2008. The non-profit organization serves to further the equal rights of men and women in Pakistan.

Earlier, 25-year-old Shabana Bibi was burnt alive by her husband, Muhammad Siddique, and her father-in-law for leaving the house to visit her sister without the consent of her husband. Siddique reportedly beat up Bibi and doused her in petrol before setting her on fire with the help of his father. Bibi died on 19 April after incurring 80 per cent burns to her body.

According to a 2014 report by the Honour Based Violence Awareness (HBVA), nearly 1,000 honour killings occur each year in India and Pakistan. Acid attacks are also prevalent in Pakistan with some 160 reported each year. The true figure is likely to be much higher.

A Thomas Reuters Foundation Service poll carried out by TrustLaw in 2011 also identified the five countries where being a woman is the most dangerous. The list comprised Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, India and Somalia.