By NICK SCHIFRIN and HABIBULLAH KHAN
In 2002, Mukhtaran Bibi – better known as Mukhtar Mai — was brutally gang raped for something she didn’t do. A tribal council accused her younger brother of having the audacity to have sex with a woman from a higher caste, and in response, members of the rival tribe were allowed to ravage her. After the rape, she had to walk home, naked, as her father tried to shield her from their villagers.
The act carries such shame, many women in rural Pakistan who are victimized in similar ways commit suicide.
But Mukhtar felt rage, not humiliation. And she got her revenge. She spoke out and successfully prosecuted her attackers. She then took donations and the compensation money she won to start schools and shelters in her hometown, Meerwala. She even enrolled herself in her own elementary school.
And now, for the first time, brave 40-year-old Mukhtar is a mother.
She gave birth to a healthy boy Sunday, 8 pounds, 6 ounces, born by C-Section at 5 p.m., according to her husband, police officer Nasir Abbas Gabol, whom she met after he was assigned to protect her.
Mom and baby are said to be doing fine.
But she constantly worries for her life because many of her rapists are free and have returned to her village. In 2002 — during massive international media coverage — a Pakistani court had sentenced six of them to death, but in 2005, a higher court acquitted five and commuted the sixth’s sentence to life imprisonment. Those sentences were upheld by Pakistan’s Supreme Court earlier this year.