Activist Pakistani Gang-Rape Victim Marries

Unusual for victims of rape, who are heavily stigmatized
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 18, 2009 11:44 AM CDT
Actress Atiqa Odho takes part in a rally to mark International Women's Day in Karachi, Pakistan, March 8, 2009.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A Pakistani gang-rape victim who shunned custom and rose to global fame by speaking out about her case has defied another local taboo—she just got married. Rape victims in Pakistan face severe social stigma and diminished marriage prospects, prompting many to commit suicide. But Mukhtar Mai went public and challenged her alleged attackers in court, attracting international attention and becoming a women's rights activist.

Her new husband said today he was enraptured by Mai's "extreme courage." Mai initially refused his offer because Nasir Abbas Gabol was already married (Pakistan is a majority Muslim nation, and Islamic law allows men to have up to four wives.) He said he was so desperate to marry Mai that he threatened to kill himself unless she relented.