Mukhtaran Mai was an ordinary woman living in a small village in Pakistan until her extraordinary courage turned an ugly incident into international news and made her a role model for women in the Middle East. Mukhtaran's younger brother became involved with a girl from a neighboring village, and when tribal leaders learned of the boy's indiscretion, they decided both he and his family should be punished. While the boy was beaten and sexually assaulted by men from the neighboring tribe, they didn't stop there -- they also gang raped Mukhtaran, with the complicity of her father and uncle. Under such circumstances, most Muslim women in Pakistan are expected to kill themselves to separate themselves from the shame the assault places on their families, but Mukhtaran refused to do so -- she reported the crime to the police and insisted that the men who attacked her be brought to justice, including a holy man who was involved in the rape.
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