In 2002, a Pakistani woman named Mukhtar Mai suffered the most horrible ordeal after a local council of tribal elders sentenced her to be punished for her brother's perceived insult to a rival family.
Mai's brother was accused of molesting a woman from the rival tribe. The tribal leaders decided that Mai should be gang-raped by men from the rival tribe and then paraded naked in public.
Mai brought her case to her country’s Supreme Court—this was not the usual move of women in her country, as most rape victims tragically end up taking their own lives because they feel "dishonored."
Mai's rapists, as well as the tribal council members, were put on trial. Six men were given the death sentence. They were later released on appeal, however.
Amazingly, Mai has emerged stronger from that unthinkable experience.
"She went on to become an international advocate for women’s rights and founded a charity that sponsors a women’s shelter and a girl’s school in her rural hometown of Meerwala," notes Associated Press.
Last week, Mai, now 44 years old, made quite a statement when she walked the runway along with models in the finale of the Fashion Pakistan Week event in Karachi, Pakistan.
The report notes: "The annual fashion showcase was started in 2009 in defiance to religious fundamentalists in Pakistan who sought to enforce strict dress codes and behavioral restrictions on Pakistani women."
Mai was quoted saying, "I want to be the voice of those women who face circumstances similar to what I did. My message for my sisters is that we aren’t weak. We have a heart and a brain, we also think."
She added, "I ask my sisters to not lose hope in the face of injustice, as we will get justice one day for sure."