< /head > Colorado Coalition for Human Rights: Glamour Magazine's Woman of the Year

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Glamour Magazine's Woman of the Year

Nicholas Kristof wrote a good column in today's New York Times, here's a portion of the article about Mukhtaran Bibi:

Mukhtaran is the Pakistani peasant woman who was gang-raped on the order of a local council, and then forced to walk home nearly naked before a jeering crowd. Instead of killing herself, as rape victims routinely do in such places, she prosecuted her attackers and became a women's rights leader in Pakistan. But last week, she was confronted by something she found pretty scary: Midtown Manhattan.
Glamour magazine is honoring Mukhtaran as a "woman of the year." It flew her from Pakistan - first-class - to the U.S., where she met senior officials in the White House, the State Department and Congress.
At the Glamour banquet at Lincoln Center, Brooke Shields introduced Mukhtaran as a woman who "showed the world the real meaning of the word honor." Mukhtaran (who also goes by the name Mukhtar Mai) seemed a little stunned to receive two standing ovations from a huge crowd of whooping Americans.
Mukhtaran is, of course, an unlikely star of Glamour. She's a peasant living in a remote village who doesn't know her age (her mom says she was born in the winter, but no one knows what year). She is a devout Muslim who wears a head scarf, and while her photos adorn Glamour's December issue, her clothing-to-skin ratio may set an all-time high for the magazine.
While Mukhtaran is being feted here, it's easy to think that her problems are over. But they aren't. President Pervez Musharraf allowed her to make this visit, after blocking a trip by her in June and then kidnapping her when she protested, but Pakistani intelligence agents still follow her everywhere. Agents open or confiscate her mail and spread lies about her in the Pakistani press, and she is reported to be on a death list. At some point, her luck may run out - and her fame won't stop a knife or a bullet.

The link to the full article can be found here (you must be a NYtimes subscriber to view it though)

--Tom Hayes


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