Mukhtar Mai, Pak`s woman of steel, is not giving up yet!

Pakistan`s Supreme Court may have upheld the acquittal of five of the six men accused of raping Mukhtar Mai, but Pakistan`s most famous victim of abuse is not giving up yet

Last Updated: Apr 22, 2011, 18:07 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan`s Supreme Court may
have upheld the acquittal of five of the six men accused of
raping Mukhtar Mai, but Pakistan`s most famous victim of abuse
is not giving up yet.

"No court can weaken my resolve to stand against
injustice," Mukhtar Mai, often referred to as the Rosa Parks
of Pakistan, tweeted shortly after the verdict.

Mukhtar was ordered to be gang-raped by a tribal
council in 2002 after her 12-year-old brother Shakoor was
accused of having an affair with a woman of the superior
Mastoi tribe.

"Supreme Court`s verdict proves that police dictate
system in Pakistan," read another tweet by Mukhtar.

Civil society groups and individuals have expressed
"shock" and "disgust" at the verdict announced by the Supreme
Court yesterday.

"The verdict is not just a blow for Mukhtaran Mai (and
the release of the accused could heighten the threats against
her life) but it can and will be seen as another limp response
to rape as a crime, a reflection of societal chauvinism, and a
blow to womens` rights in the country," wrote Adil Najam,
editor of a Pakistani ezine.

"Most importantly, the practical manifestation of the
decision will be to deny closure to and to bring back into
painful scrutiny the life of a woman who has already been
through so much too much pain," he said.

A commenter agreed with Najam`s post: "Today we have
allowed the village elite a free hand to rape any woman in
their village and get away with it.

"The feudal system wins and the poor lose their face
yet again."

Many had expected Mukhtar Mai to commit suicide, as is
all too common after rape in the country, but she refused and
started a legal battle against her alleged rapists.

Soon her struggle for rights became a struggle for
other deprived women too.

With the money she received as compensation from the
courts, she built her village`s first girl`s school an
institution she had never seen before and something which the
little girls of her village will never be able to thank her
enough for.

PTI