The Mukhtaran Bibi case

In 2002, a low-caste Pakistani village woman was sentenced by the village panchayat to be gang-raped in retribution for a crime allegedly committed by her brother. The sentence was carried out by four high-caste men, and she was sent home walking naked through her village. But she fought back:

…instead of killing herself, Ms. Mukhtaran testified against her attackers and propounded the shocking idea that the shame lies in raping, rather than in being raped. The rapists are now on death row, and President Pervez Musharraf presented Ms. Mukhtaran with the equivalent of $8,300 and ordered round-the-clock police protection for her.
These sorts of tribal customs are revolting in all cultures. I only wish she’d gotten her hands on a Remington a la Phoolan Devi, the Bandit Queen.

5 thoughts on “The Mukhtaran Bibi case

  1. So so sad..the whole village has to be condemned too.. why should she suffer for the crimes her brother committed..was he spared because he was a man?… Iam glad she rebelled..No wonder a culture that bred noble soft spoken, self sacrificing indian women for centuries is breeding rebellious poolan devi’s today.. Iam glad women are learning to fight and claim their rights which they did not do for centuries.. this is the bad side of india where men for centuries have troubled/tortured women in the name of traditions/culture… And it never seems to end.. Despite all the education ,Since I was raised in india as an indian girlchild I had my share of verbal illtreatments too and and it is not an easy battle to win even today and I have to argue at every place to claim my basic rights as a human being.. and even today 70-80% of indian men in india disrespect women and treat women badly.. and we women need to keep on fighting until we are treated right and hope God gives specially the rural uneducated women courage to fight everyday all through their lives.. Most of the rural women dont even know what their basic rights are…

  2. hmmm, is caste a big issue in islamic pakistan? I confess to total ignorance of the interplay of caste (a hindu thing) and supposedly caste-less islam.

  3. I have been trying to find out how to donate to the possible opening of the girl’s school that Muukhtaran Bibi wants to open. Any leads?

  4. “low-caste Pakistani village woman”. Very interesting indeed. In Pakistani Punjab it seems, the caste system is as prevalent as in India. It is as I understand categorised as ‘biradree’ and not classified into castes per se.