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Author Topic: Mukhtar Mai, Famed Pakistani Gang-Rape Victim, Gets Married  (Read 1190 times)
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« on: Mar 18, 2009 11:54 PM »



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Mukhtar Mai, Famed Pakistani Gang-Rape Victim, Gets Married
Huffpost - Mukhtar Mai, Famed Pakistani Gang-Rape Victim, Gets Married

KHALID TANVEER | March 18, 2009 08:39 AM EST | AP

In this June 29, 2005 file photo, Pakistani gang-rape victim Mukhtar Mai speaks to the Associated Press in Islamabad, Pakistan. Mai, who gained global fame by speaking out about her case, has defied another local taboo by getting married. Mai is now the second wife of Nasir Abbas Gabol, a police officer who has helped protect her. Gabol told the AP on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 that he was enraptured by Mai's "extreme courage."(AP Photo/Anjum Naveed,File)


MULTAN, Pakistan — A Pakistani gang-rape victim who shunned custom and rose to global fame by speaking out about her case has defied another local taboo _ she just got married.

Mukhtar Mai is now the second wife of Nasir Abbas Gabol, a police officer who was assigned to protect her as her case gained notoriety. He said she was reluctant to accept his offer and that he threatened suicide when she turned him down.

Mai was gang raped at the order of a tribal council in the eastern province of Punjab in 2002 to punish her family for her brother's alleged affair with a woman from a higher-caste family. There were also allegations that the boy had been molested by members of the other family, and that the accusations of the affair were used to cover up the crime.

Rape victims in Pakistan face severe social stigma and diminished marriage prospects, prompting many to commit suicide. But Mai went public and challenged her alleged attackers in court, attracting international attention and becoming a women's rights activist.

She was named Glamour magazine's Woman of the Year, and now runs a school in her southern Punjab province village of Meerwala. The case against her attackers is still in the court system.

Mai told AP Television News after the nuptials that she'd never completely ruled out marriage.

"When you do marriage you have to have faith in your partner," she said.

Her new husband told the AP on Wednesday that he was enraptured by Mai's "extreme courage."

"I will do whatever is possible to help my wife in her efforts aimed at raising her voice for the rights of women," he said.

Mai initially refused his offer because Gabol was already married and discouraged him from divorcing his first wife. Pakistan is a majority Muslim nation, and Islamic law allows men to have up to four wives.

Gabol said he was so desperate to marry Mai that he threatened to kill himself unless she relented. Fearing he would carry out his threat, Gabol's first wife met with Mai and persuaded her to marry.

The wedding took place Sunday and a reception is planned for the weekend.
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« Reply #1 on: Mar 18, 2009 11:58 PM »

From the New York Times:

Pakistani Woman Who Shattered Stigma of Rape Is Married

By SALMAN MASOOD
Published: March 17, 2009

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Mukhtar Mai, the resilient Pakistani who was gang raped in 2002 on the orders of a village council but became a symbol of hope for voiceless and oppressed women, has married.
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Anjum Naveed/Associated Press

Mukhtar Mai reacted to the Pakistan Supreme Court's decision in 2005, which overturned the acquittals of 13 men accused in her gang rape.

In a telephone interview on Tuesday, Ms. Mukhtar, 37, said her new husband was a police constable who was assigned to guard her in the wake of the attack and who had been asking for her hand for several years. She is his second wife.

She said the constable, Nasir Abbas Gabol, 30, and she married Sunday in a simple ceremony in her dusty farming village, Meerwala, in Punjab Province.

“He says he madly fell in love with me,” Ms. Mukhtar said with a big laugh when asked what finally persuaded her to say yes.

Pakistani rape victims often commit suicide, but Ms. Mukhtar, who is also know as Mukhtaran Bibi, instead successfully challenged her attackers in court, winning international renown for her bravery. She runs several schools, an ambulance service and a women’s aid group in her village and has written an autobiography. By marrying, she has defeated another stigma against rape victims in conservative Pakistani society.

The village council ordered her rape as a punishment for actions attributed to her younger brother. He was accused of having illicit relations with a woman from a rival clan, but investigations showed that the boy had been molested by three of that clan’s tribesmen, and the accusation against him had been a cover-up.

Mr. Gabol was one of a group of police officers deployed to protect her after she was threatened by the rapists’ relatives to try to stop her from pressing charges.

Mr. Gabol had a hard time persuading Ms. Mukhtar to marry. He had been calling her off and on since 2003 but formally proposed a year and a half ago, she said. “But I told my parents I don’t want to get married.”

Finally, four months ago, he tried to kill himself by taking sleeping pills. “The morning after he attempted suicide, his wife and parents met my parents but I still refused,” Ms. Mukhtar said.

Mr. Gabol then threatened to divorce his first wife, Shumaila.

Ms. Shumaila, along with Mr. Gabol’s parents and sisters, tried to talk Ms. Mukhtar into marrying him, taking on the status of second wife. In Pakistan, a man can legally have up to four wives.

It was her concern about Ms. Shumaila, Ms. Mukhtar said, that moved her to relent.

“I am a woman and can understand the pain and difficulties faced by another woman,” Ms. Mukhtar said. “She is a good woman.”

In the end, Ms. Mukhtar put a few conditions on Mr. Gabol. He had to transfer the ownership of his ancestral house to his first wife, agree to give her a plot of land and a monthly stipend of roughly $125.

Asked if she had plans to leave her village to live with her husband in his village, Ms. Mukhtar said no. “I have seen pain and happiness in Meerwala. I cannot think of leaving this place.”

Her husband, she said, “can come here whenever he wants and finds it convenient.”
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