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Mukhtar Mai the Glamour girl

by Al-Hack on 4th November, 2005 at 5:30 am    

For her courage in speaking out against her brutal rape in Pakistan, Mukhtar Mai, aka Mukhtaran Bibi, has become internationally known as a campaigner for women’s rights.

In fact she has become so well-known that the insensitive jerk commonly known as President Musharraf had a stupendous bout of foot-in-mouth disease (rather lot of that going around) a few weeks back when he said Pakistani women who wanted to get a visa or make money would get themselves raped.

Mukhtar was awarded the Woman of the Year prize last night by Glamour magazine in a lavish New York ceremony. It smells slightly of opportunism though - the rape happened three years ago and since then everyone under the sun has interviewed her and discussed women right’s in Pakistan. Glamour’s come late to this party!

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  1. raz — on 4th November, 2005 at 8:04 am  

    Good news. Sadly, this case really highlights the difference in values between Pakistan and India. The Mukhtar Mai case has brought outrage in Pakistan - it has lead to debate in newspapers and talk shows - a demand for change and justice. A permanent marker has been laid down for reform.

    Sadly, the untold Indian victims of rape can expect no similar attention. According to women’s rights groups, a
    women is raped in India EVERY HOUR!!. Where are the Indian Mukhtar Mai’s? Where is the concern for them? Where is the worldwide media attention for them? While Pakistani women can look forward to reform and rights, Indian women are damned to continue to suffer in silence. It seems that whereas Pakistan attempts to throw off the shackles of this medieval attitude towards women and move into the 21st century with the rest of the world, India is stuck in the dark ages. A tragic situation.

  2. blue mountain — on 4th November, 2005 at 9:38 am  

    Sadly, this case really highlights the difference in values between Pakistan and India

    This is what Dailytimes in Pakistan says:

    If a woman is raped she is under obligation to bring four male pious eye-witnesses to prove her charge. Rape is equated with fornication whereunder Islam wants to prevent wrongful accusation. If the victim can’t prove rape she is punished under ‘qazf’ (wrongful accusation). This really means that a raped woman is ill-advised to make an accusation under the Zina Ordinance. The Supreme Court is on record as saying that 95 per cent of the cases thus brought against women are finally decided in their favour but the movement of the case from the lower courts to the Supreme Court takes years during which the accused woman suffers. In one ‘thana’ prison (Karachi South) earlier examined, 80 per cent of the imprisoned women were facing charges under the Zina Ordinance. Most cases pertained to marriage of choice which the accusing party wanted to undo through the Zina Ordinance. The police exploited the FIR and hunted the lawfully married woman down under the assumption of Islamic justice. The Hudood Laws “were conceived and drafted in haste and are not in conformity with the injunctions of Islam”. ‘Tazir’, which is bound by Qanoon-e-Shahadat (1984), is applicable to all laws.


    This report comes from Indian weeklyOutlook:

    The Supreme Court has ruled that conviction in a rape case can be based on solitary evidence of the victim, with non-examination of doctor in court and non-production of medical report not being grounds to give benefit of doubt to the accused.

    “Once the statement of prosecutrix (rape victim) inspires confidence and is accepted by the courts as such, conviction can be based only on solitary evidence of the prosecutrix and no corroboration would be required unless there are compelling reasons which necessitate the courts for corroboration of her statement,” a Bench comprising Justice H K Sema and Justice G P Mathur said.

    Setting aside a Madhya Pradesh High Court order, the Bench said “non-examination of doctor and non-production of doctor’s report would not cause fatal to the prosecution case, if the statements of the victim and other prosecution witnesses inspire confidence.”


  3. raz — on 4th November, 2005 at 10:26 am  

    As I stated, the issue is not the past. The issue is the future. . The Mai case has brought women’s rights to to forefront of debate, sparked outrage and demands for action in Pakistan. Sadly, despite the appalling frequency of sexual violence in India,, no such progress can be seen in India. I ask again - Why is there no Indian Muhktar Mai? Without such self-criticism and maturity, the issue of rape and womens rights will not be addressed in India. Let’s hope Pakistan can be a role model for the people of India to follow. The day an Indian woman can be feted in the manner of the courageous Muhktar Mai is the day India will take a giant step forward in confronting the spectre of sexual violence against women.

    Some appalling facts:

    Every 26 minutes in India a woman is sexually molested
    Every 42 minutes in Inida a sexual harrassment takes place.
    Every 34 minutes in India a rape takes place.

    This despicable onslaught against womens bodies cannot go on any longer.

  4. blue mountain — on 4th November, 2005 at 10:37 am  

    Let’s hope Pakistan can be a role model for the people of India to follow


  5. blue mountain — on 4th November, 2005 at 10:56 am  

    But the problem is Pakistan takes Saudi Arabia as its role model.Dont you think that we should skip Pakistan and follow the “Saudi” Arabia ? Hehe


  6. coruja — on 4th November, 2005 at 11:30 am  

    raz - It’s sickening that you have taken upon yourself to do some political point scoring against India on the back of this incident.

    Why are you so concerned only with the plight of women in India?
    The London Metropolitan police have said they receive one call per minute from assaulted women. And on average four women a week die after being assaulted by their partner/former partner and there is a 6% conviction rate on rape cases taken to court.

    In most developed an developing countries women are second class citizens - they are paid less for the same work, they are not allowed to reach the top of professions, they are criticised for deciding to go to work, their education is the least concern, and they are treated like property - is there a difference between raped &/ killed by a woman’s partner and being killed because of family honour by her father? It is all about subjugation and control of a group whether by economic, religious or cultural methods.

    And at every stage, every small victory they have achieved is through their own struggle – whether it is the right to vote, equal pension rights or a chance of an education.

  7. raz — on 4th November, 2005 at 12:33 pm  

    I’m concerned about women all over the world. However, as
    primarily an asian blog, and a ‘progressive’ one at that, you would think that we asians would be using this opportunity to be self critical and look at the issues that ail us. There have been three or four articles posted already here at Pickled Politics about Muktarar Mai. Excellent news - she is a commenable woman and her campaigning will do a great deal of good for womens issues in Pakistan. But sadly, I have seen no concern for the poor, suffering women of India, despite the fact that far more women are raped/abused in India than in Pakistan. The Mai case has been a watershed in Pakistan - it may well be a paradigm shift in how sexual violence against women is addressed. But there is no comparable phenomena in India - there is no Indian Muhktar Mai. It would be a tragedy if the benefits and rights which the Mai case will hopefully bring to the women of Pakistan are denied to the poor women of India. Let’s hope Indians can learn from the example of Pakistan and the valiant Ms Mai, and somehow start their own journey towards justice for Indian women.

  8. ob — on 4th November, 2005 at 12:45 pm  

    is there a march in bingley on saturday??

  9. coruja — on 4th November, 2005 at 12:52 pm  

    May be there are a lot more women getting raped in India because …may be, possibly, it has a larger population than Pakistan. I’m sure Indian rape figures are the best in the world, probably in the top 5, hooray!

    I’m sure the women in India will learn from their own struggles against caste, religious and gender oppression to improve their lot as well learning from women from all over the world. And lets hope that the Pakistani women learn from the quite a few successful Indian women campaigners such as Vandana Shiva and Arundhati Roy on how to bring particular issues to global attention.

    And lets hope no one is as condescending to the poor suffering women of India as you are.

  10. raz — on 4th November, 2005 at 1:12 pm  

    “’m sure Indian rape figures are the best in the world, probably in the top 5, hooray!”

    Yes, rape is really something to joke about isn’t it. A sad indictment of the misogynistic attitude which pervades so much of the Asian mentality.

    How sad and depressing your attitude is. Instead of wanting Indian women to follow the valiant Ms Mai’s example, you would rather let millions of Indian women suffer in silence, raped and violated, just to satisfy your jingoistic pride. How shameful. To think the bodies of Indian women are worth so little to you. I thought we were living in the 21st century, not the dark ages.

  11. Sunny — on 4th November, 2005 at 1:15 pm  

    There’s no need for political point scoring. We’ve covered news about Mukhtar Mai extensively simply because its made a lot of news in the past few weeks, specially around Musharraf’s statements.
    I totally accept that women’s rights is also a big problem in India, and yes we will be highlighting that too. Their country matters little to me, though Pakistan’s laws regarding rape are of considerable concern.

  12. Fe'reeha — on 4th November, 2005 at 4:08 pm  

    Raz: I am surprised at your simplicity.
    Good news. Sadly, this case really highlights the difference in values between Pakistan and India.
    Really? I am not sure this is what this case highlights. Don’t even get me started on “what exactly” happens with women in both Pakistan and India and …let’s not forget Bangladesh.
    While this case highlights one case, the fact remains, thousands of women are being suppressed in Pakistan.
    In the poor villages, men exploit them and heart-breakingly, 99.9 % of these women o not even know they are being oppressed for they have never seen anything else in their lives.
    In the elite cities, opression takes place in other, more sophisticated ways. The Indian adopted “in-laws syndrome” is rampant in Pakistani society, so is the issue of dowry.
    And don’t be fooled by the “attention” this case is getting word-wide, In the past many such cases have been given limelight, but mostly the cases just become another old news with the NGO’s behind making money. In the remote areas of Pakistani, other Mukhtara mayees still await their salvation!!

  13. Vikrant — on 4th November, 2005 at 4:26 pm  

    Way to go raz… Think before you type idiot.
    Women are raped all opver the world. But its only in Pakistan that a village council orders one isnt it?
    BTW There are more convictions for rapes in India than in West Asia and rest of Indian subcontinent.

    Again i ask for moderators here. Or else allow others to stoop to Raz’s level.

  14. coruja — on 4th November, 2005 at 4:27 pm  

    raz - “the bodies of Indian women” are valuable to them not to me, as I don’t own them, you nutter.

    How you can deliberately misconstrue everything I have said and accuse me of jingoism (when all I did was to mildly mock your sanctimonious tone) takes genius on the scale of a New Labour spin-doctor. I bow to your brilliance.

  15. Vikrant — on 4th November, 2005 at 4:29 pm  

    Inspite of the populatin Indian female literacy is aoens ahead of Pakistan.

  16. Fe'reeha — on 4th November, 2005 at 5:12 pm  

    You are right Vikrant. Also Indian women are much more independent and integrated in the society.

  17. Geezer — on 4th November, 2005 at 5:50 pm  

    Vikrant yes ok mate, only in Pakistan a village council order a rape of woman? Maybe the wide spread rapes of low caste woman in India by upper caste councils is a figment of our imaginations or even worse shock horror an ISI plot?




    I also love your selective condemnation of Raz but left out Blue Mountain entirely who incidentally started off the pissing contest

  18. Geezer — on 4th November, 2005 at 6:09 pm  

    Hi Fe’reeha Pakistan is making fast progress to improving rights for woman here is just two stories that support this

    Pakistan’s first woman captain


    Pakistan’s first woman fighter pilots


    A great deal of work still needs to done but from what I have seen having lived out there most of the problems seem to be in the rural areas. Woman in the city areas I found were very independent and were visible in every sphere of city life from directing traffic to having plush jobs.

    Mukhtar Mai has thrown the doors wide open for other woman to speak up and letting the population know that such crimes exist and must be dealt with harshly.

  19. Sunny — on 4th November, 2005 at 7:33 pm  

    Except Musharraf has tried his best to malign Mukhtar Mai and her efforts. She was expected to commit suicide, but thankfully she didn’t.

    I make no apologies for highlighting such cases, and I certainly do not appreciate Asian men coming here and getting all defensive over how women in other countries are treated.

    The fact is women in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh are treated like crap. All of you trying to point fingers at each other make me laugh because you are part of the problem. Unless we accept our own mistakes, we cannot complain when someone points them out.

    There will be a lot more stories on Mukhtar Mai and others to come.

  20. Vikrant — on 5th November, 2005 at 7:24 am  

    Rape is Rape… Yes there are rapes in India, but laws in India are strict. You dont need statements of four men to prove a rape in India. Moreover Inidan politicians dont act like insensitive jerks when it comes to rapes. Methinks there aint any caste angle. Those are cases where raped women were dalits and men were from upper castes.

    P.S Raz has been acting like a jerk here since last few days, his posts on other article show his bigoted inclinations.

  21. Vikrant — on 5th November, 2005 at 7:26 am  

    btw sorry for tha typos.

  22. raz — on 5th November, 2005 at 7:43 am  

    Typical pathetic mentality from Vikrant - don’t like someones opinions - try and get them deleted. Notice how I haven’t complained about any anti-Pakistani views on this board - because I believe that asians should express themselves freely. Sadly, Vikrant can’t handle any criticism of his beloved India without crying for moderators to save him. LOL. Pathetic If you’re not grown up enough to handle other opinions, go to some hinduvata site where only your view will be heard.

  23. Vikrant — on 6th November, 2005 at 8:08 am  

    hoho jumping into conclusions are we? i have no love for Hindutva being an atheist…. Can you show some overtly anti-Pakistan posts here?… I’ve no intrest in having flame wars..
    Scroll by the troll.

  24. raz — on 6th November, 2005 at 10:59 am  

    LOL. For an ‘atheist’, you sure are concerned about those poor Hindus aren’t you :)

    Posted by Virrant:

    “i’ve seen its Hindutva guys who’ve become favoured whipping boys here. For starters they dont go on preaching “World without Pakistan”

    “When you here demonise Hindutva guys with some basically made up points”

    “Another thing i noticed here is equating Hindus with Muslims”

    “try telling that to Pakistanis”

    “Well lets look at the Pakistani side. One reading session of “Pakistan Studies” is enough to make a Hindu throw up.
    Infront of the glaring historical revisionism from Pakistan, “Saffronisation of History” looks mild indeed”

    Strange, an ‘atheist’ taking such umbrage at slights against Hindus :)

    Notice how you are the only person on here to demand moderation of posts you don’t agree with. A very sad and ignorant mentality towards other opinions. Unlike you, I’ve never made any apologies for or attempted to conceal my views, neither have I tried to silence those who dissent.

  25. Fe'reeha — on 7th November, 2005 at 1:33 am  

    I could not agree more with Sunny’s comments. Now, if only we could make the rest of millions of men in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh think on simmilar lines…..

  26. Sunny — on 7th November, 2005 at 2:06 am  

    Lol, thanks Fe’reeha. Can you two, Vikrant and Raz, please shut it? I assume we are all on the same side here? You may accuse us of bias, covering one country more than others - but I’ve explained myself. So lets move on :|

  27. Vikrant — on 7th November, 2005 at 10:26 am  

    Who are you to decide what my religious convictions are?

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