September 6, 2005 9:16 pm
After the shocking cases of Mukhtar Mai and Shazia Khalid highlighted the prevalence of sexual violence against women in Pakistan, another rape victim has come forward with a grim tale.
The victim, a housewife from the city of Faisalabad, was arrested on vague charges and “repeatedly raped, stripped naked, beaten and abused by her police captors.”
In a deeply patriarchal society like Pakistan’s, where women’s lives and actions are inextricably bound to tribal notions of honor, rape is the ultimate source of shame for a woman. Most go unreported. Even in the outside chance that the victim is supported by her family, she may end up being abused by the police for daring to ask for justice.
The faintest glimmer of hope: a Reuters story suggests that women are fighting back. Rape incidents are being reported in higher numbers than last year. Courageous women like Mukhtar Mai are refusing to be oppressed by society. More power to them!