Wednesday, April 4, 2007

In the Name of Honour

In The Name Of Honour
Author: Mukhtar Mai
Publisher: Virago Press, 1 February 2007

In the Name of Honour by Mukhtar Mai is one of those novels that is impossible to put down. It is the remarkable, moving true story of one woman’s fight for justice and equality for herself and for the women of her homeland.

In June 2002, Mukhtar’s twelve year old brother was accused of speaking to an older woman in a higher caste – an “honour crime” for which there was no evidence but which demanded retribution; in their remote Pakistani village where village council meted out justice it was decreed that Muktar would be gang raped by the male members of the slighted family. Custom dictated that after such an ordeal and bringing of shame to her family by being raped, Mukhtar should commit suicide.

Instead, she fought back.

In an unprecedented case in Pakistani legal history, Mukhtar Mai, a poor uneducated woman from a small rural community, took her attackers to court.

It is a story often times hard to comprehend, that such barbaric, antiquated justice could still be meted out in our modern world and that until Mukhtar put hers and her family’s lives on the line, that this was considered the norm in parts of her country. But more than this, it is a story of great emotion and heart. Not only does Mukhtar fight for her own personal justice, in the process she raises the profile of women in Pakistan and the issues of illiteracy and lack of education they face. Going one step further, this courageous woman opens the first ever school for girls in her village.

In the Name of Honour is an “against all odds” story of amazing courage, strength and compassion by one very brave and determined woman, Mukhtar Mai. From heart breaking to heart lifting, it is a story that will not fail to move and inspire you.

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