When Mukhtaran Mai was gang raped by “wild beasts” on the command of a tribal assembly to avenge honor, instead of following tradition and committing suicide, she went to the police (to no avail), and set up a girls’ school and women’s crisis center in her village. When she was asked if change is occurring she reported, “It’s not just the girls who want to study but their parents are finally behind them. These were parents who were abusive about educating girls – they were frightened about its effects.” She receives death threats for her activism, but vows to keep fighting for women’s rights because “The women here are fighting for release from their pain.” Many projects aim to improve girls’ education: The Indus Resource center was founded by a woman, Dadiqa Salahuddin, to focus on improving women’s lives and girls’ education. Educated privileged Pakistani girls that I email with don’t wear hajib, go skiing, have fun, and wait until they’re ready to get married.
Samira Shackle, “Mukhtar Mai: The Gang Rape Victim who Defied Her Attackers,” New Statesman, 2012.