The high court in Lahore has ordered that the men who gang raped Mukhtar Mai in 2002 be released on Monday. In addition, the men on the village council who ordered her rape will also be freed.
Mai’s case is not unusual, except in one respect: after being raped for hours as retribution for her brother’s misbehavior (a charge cooked up to cover over the fact that he himself had been sodomized by members of a powerful clan in their village), Mai didn’t go home and conveniently kill herself. Instead, with the help of her imam and the support of her father and family, she fought back — all the way to the high court.
For three years now, since her young brother’s rape in June, 2002, this woman has lived with and managed to transcend a nightmare. Having been awarded compensation by the Pakistani courts she took the money home and started two schools in her village, one for boys, another for girls. Inspired by her courage, money came from around the world. In March, Canada donated a large sum to Mai for the continuation of her education projects in Punjab.
Mukhtar Mai has said that she thinks she will be killed eventually for her stand. And she may be right, Pakistan is a cruel place for women: it has been estimated that eighty per cent of the female population has been brutalized at one time or another.
At the moment,though, her website has crashed. That’s a good sign: it means everyone is watching.
hat tip: fjordman