Fashion Pakistan Week, a three-day event, saw some stunning outfits, beautiful models and many new designers showcasing their outfit collection. But one woman who took to the ramp for designer Rozina Munib was the showstopper in every sense.
Mukhtaran Mai, the Pakistani woman who was sentenced by a local council of tribal elders to be gang raped and publicly humiliated as punishment for her brother's perceived insult to a rival family in 2002, walked the runway at Pakistan Fashion Week as “a symbol of courage” for other women. She is now a vocal feminist and kindles hope in innumerable women. Source: AP #shesays #mukhtaranmai #pakistan #pakistanifashion #rape #sexualassault #sexualabuse #endVAW #inspiration #feminist #feminism
In 2002, 42-year-old Mukhtaran Mai was raped by a group of men in a village of Punjab, Pakistan. Her 12-year-old brother was accused of having an affair with an older woman of a rival clan, and Mai was raped as a form of revenge and punishment. She was then paraded naked and bleeding in the neighborhood as more than 100 men cheered on.
“The purpose behind bringing Mukhtaran Mai to Karachi and making her a part of my show is to tell her story so that it gives courage to other women. I could have easily gone down the typical route of paying a celebrity to be part of my show. I just felt that it would be so much better to spend the same money on a cause that was close to my heart,” said Munib.
Mukhtaran Mai- A gang rape survivor made her fashion week debut today at Fashion Pakistan Week (FPW). Fashion week first-timer Rozina Munib chose her so that it gives courage to other women. Mukhtaran Mai suffered terribly but instead of committing suicide she stood up for her rights, She is a women's rights spokesperson now. #mukhtaranmai #rozinamunib #friehaaltaf #fpw2016 #empoweringwomen #empoweringpakistan #courage #love #hope #inspiration #zindagikerang #supergirl
Although Mai, like many other rape survivors, was expected to commit suicide in order to maintain her family's “honor,” she fought against the society and took the case to court. Unfortunately, five of her six attackers were acquitted, but the brave woman did not succumb to hopelessness and depression.
“I am walking the ramp to spread awareness about the struggle women go through. This is for the women in my society, it is for those who have no one and no place to go to,” the courageous woman told The Express Tribune.
Mai is now the face of hope and a role model for countless women in Pakistan. She also runs an organization that provides shelter, legal support and education to the women of her country.