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Mukhtar Mai, Once Gang-Raped, Stars In Karachi Fashion Show


Pakistani gang rape victim Mukhtar Mai has become an outspoken advocate for the rights of oppressed women.

Pakistani gang rape victim Mukhtar Mai has become an outspoken advocate for the rights of oppressed women.

Mukhtar Mai was gang-raped and paraded naked in public 14 years ago, but on November 1 she was the star of a fashion show in Karachi.

Mai said she hopes that her example inspires other victims of sexual violence to find the courage to go on with their lives.

"I want to be the voice of those women who face circumstances similar to what I did," said Mai, now 44, wearing a light green embroidered bridal shirt and silver, silk pajama pants, designed by Rozina Munib, with a scarf covering her hair.

"I ask my sisters to not lose hope in the face of injustice, as we will get justice one day for sure," she said.

Rather than commit suicide like some other Pakistani women, Mai went public and fought all the way to the country's Supreme Court to see her attackers jailed.

Fourteen men -- the alleged rapists and the tribal council members -- were put on trial, and six were handed the death sentence. But all of them were eventually released on appeal.

Nevertheless, Mai went on to become an advocate for women's rights and founded a women's shelter and girl's school in her hometown of Meerwala.

Based on reporting by AP and Times of India
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