Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Pakistan gang-rape victim to receive women's award in US
October 25, 2005

NEW YORK, NY, USA --  A Pakistani woman whose gang rape triggered an international outcry has arrived in the United States to receive an award from a women's magazine, organizers of the event said on Monday.

Mukhtaran Mai flew in over the weekend and will receive a Woman of the Year prize from Glamour magazine on November 2 at a ceremony in New York.

Mai, 33, was gang raped on the orders of a tribal council in 2002 as punishment for her brother's alleged love affair with a woman from another tribe.

The case and Mai's high-profile quest to bring her rapists to justice garnered extensive international attention, much to the embarrassment of the Pakistani authorities.

In June Pakistan's Supreme Court ordered the rearrest of 13 men linked to her case and suspended their acquittals by lower courts.

The same month, Mai had been invited to the United States to address a human rights group but was barred from traveling by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf who argued that the visit would damage the country's image overseas.

The travel ban was later rescinded after intense criticism from, among others, US officials.

Musharraf came under additional fire in September when he suggested to a US newspaper that some women viewed being raped as a way to acquire a foreign visa.

Glamour magazine said that Mai was being honored for "her incredible courage and optimism in the face of terrible violence".

A total of 12 women, including film star Catherine Zeta-Jones, will also receive women of the year awards at the gala ceremony.

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