17 April, 2021

But Steel Shall Not Be Sullied

Chronicle of a brave peasant woman who converted the tragedy of a gangrape into a personal crusade

But Steel Shall Not Be Sullied
"I, Mukhtaran Bibi, eldest daughter of my father Gulam Farid Jat, lose all consciousness of myself, but I will never forget the faces of those animals. For them, a woman is simply an object of possession, honor, or revenge. They marry or rape them according to their conception of tribal pride. They know...a woman humiliated in that way has no other recourse except suicide. They don’t even need to use their weapons. Rape kills her...(it) is the ultimate weapon: it shames the other clan forever."

This is how Mukhtar Mai, one of the heroic women of our times, speaks of being gang-raped, as per the order of the Jirga—a Mastoi tribal council in Meerwala, Punjab, Pakistan, in 2002. In the Name of Honor is an extraordinary chronicle of the courage and vision of an ordinary Gurjar peasant woman in Pakistan, unwilling to be broken by injustice, or limited by circumstances. Her struggle politicised her personally, galvanised her country, and has become a source of inspiration for women the world over.

Mukhtar’s young, 12-year-old brother was wrongly accused of...

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