In 2002, a young woman in Pakistan named Mukhtar Mai was gang-raped as punishment for her 12-year-old brother’s alleged affair with a woman of a higher clan.
Because of Mai’s determination to seek justice, the 13 accused were detained. She has pressed charges through to Pakistan’s Supreme Court, and as a result,has faced threats from local feudal lords and government officials.
Mukhtar Mai has been honored by Time and Glamour magazines, and received a special award at the International Women’s Health Coalition’s 2006 gala for her strength, courage, and leadership. Since bringing her case to the attention of the world, Mai has opened a school to change the way future generations of women and men treat each other.
In his most recent column and a Nicholas Kristof writes about the courageous actions that Mai is taking to uphold the human rights of girls and women. For example: Assiya Rafiq. With Mukhtar Mai’s support and assistance, Assiya is speaking out and pursuing a lawsuit against the men who gang raped her, including four police officers.
To find out more about Rafiq and actions you can take on her behalf, check out Kristof’s follow-up blog post.
Pic courtesy of the Creative Commons Flickr stream United Nations Photo.