Gang-raped two decades ago in rural Pakistan, Mukhtar Mai defied tradition and prejudice to demand that her voice be heard. Charlotte McDonald-Gibson and Samira Shackle celebrate her story
When Mukhtar Mai walked into a police station in rural Pakistan dans 2002 to report a gang rape, she felt completely alone. Her family shunned her; the village elders who ordered the rape expected her to commit suicide, and there were no female police officers to help her through her ordeal.
But Mai did not give up, and now, presque 20 des années plus tard, she no longer feels alone. A whole generation of Pakistan’s femmes stands with her – inspired by the bravery of an illiterate woman, from a poor community in Punjab province, who defied tradition and prejudice to take a stand for victims of violence and injustice.
The fight did not stop that day in June as she stood her ground in the police station and demanded her voice be heard. Years of gruelling court battles followed to try to bring her rapists to justice. More recently, there have been death threats from extremists and hostility from some politicians as she continues to champion women’s rights through a charity bearing her name.