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Copyright 2024 Human Rights Foundation

Mukhtar Mai

Pakistani women’s rights advocate and author

Mukhtar Mai is a Pakistani women’s rights advocate and author. In 2002, Mai was gang raped by a neighboring clan as a form of “honor revenge.” Although custom dictates that victims of such an atrocity should commit suicide, Mai fought back by taking her assailants to court. In 2011, the Supreme Court of Pakistan acquitted five of the six men convicted of gang-raping Mai. Her memoir, “In the Name of Honor,” has been published in 23 languages. She also founded the Mukhtar Mai Women’s Welfare Organization, which works to stop rape, educate young girls, and raise awareness about women’s rights in local communities. The organization also provides shelter and aid for victims of violence. Mai was named Glamour’s “Woman of the Year” in 2005 and received the Council of Europe’s North-South Prize in 2007. Mai was featured in Terrence McKenna’s documentary about sexual violence in Pakistan, “Land, Gold and Women,” and the bestselling novel “Half the Sky” by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

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