Village Gang-Rape Convicts Freed By Pakistani Court
Five of the six men sentenced to death by a Pakistani court for gang-raping a 30-year-old woman, Mukhtar Mai, were acquitted by a village council yesterday, angering the human rights community. The sixth man received a reduced sentence to life in prison, reports Reuters.
In June 2002, a tribal council in a rural area of Pakistan ordered the gang rape of Mai after she approached the council in hopes of settling a dispute involving the kidnapping of her younger brother, who was sodomized by a local clan for allegedly having sexual relations with a woman from a rival tribe, reports the New York Times. After hearing her case, the council decided that Mai should be forced to marry a man from the rival tribe and her brother should marry the woman he allegedly had sexual relations with. Mai was gang raped and forced to walk home naked by men of the rival tribe after she rejected the councilís order.
According to the New York Times, Mai gained international recognition for coming forward publicly after the attack, despite receiving death threats, in an effort to urge the government to help her receive justice. Human rights activists have been pressing Pakistani authorities to strip the tribal councils of their powers for years.
1/23/2015 #HeForShe Campaign Launches Pilot Effort Aimed at Institutional Equality - The United Nations' gender equality campaign #HeForShe has launched a new program called IMPACT 10X10X10.
United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, together with UN Women Executive DirectorPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, introduced the one-year pilot effort aimed at encouraging corporations, universities, and governments to play an active role in enhancing women's empowerment and equality in Davos, Switzerland today at the World Economic Forum.
"Women need to be equal participants in our homes, societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces," Watson said.
First introduced in September, HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to confront gender inequalities that face women and girls globally. . . .