Raped – She Was Gang Raped But Came Out Fighting

Mukhtar Mai Was Gang-Raped On The Orders Of A Tribal Council

Mukhtar Mai Was Gang Raped But Came Out Fighting For Women's Rights

 

Mukhtar Mai is a woman from a village in the Muzaffagarh district of Pakistan.

In 2002, she was gang-raped on the orders of a tribal council as part of a so-called "honor" revenge.

While tribal tradition dictates that a woman should commit suicide after such an act, Mukhtar defied convention and fought the case.

No Men Were Convicted

Although her rapists were never convicted, her story was picked up by domestic and international media, and she later become an iconic advocate of women’s rights.

And despite constant threats to her life, she later opened a girls’ school, and a women’s crisis center in Muzaffagarh.

An Interview With A Very Brave Woman

The following is from an interview with Mukhtar Mai that was carried out at her shelter, by Samira Shackle.

Q. "There has been a huge public response in Pakistan to the shooting of Malala Yousafzai. What do you make of it?".

*Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani school pupil and education activist from the town of Mingora in the Swat District of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and the youngest nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize in history.

A. "I feel so good about the response to Malala. She’s a young girl, a child, and yet she’s fought for a nation, not just for her school. Malala is a beacon. Her light has been shone on all corners of the country, in the heart of the nation. When they shot her, it was not just Malala who fielded the bullet, thousands of Malalas were wounded".

"Today it was her turn for the bullet; tomorrow it could be some other. It could be me. I pray for her. May the poor child be completely healed".

Q. "Do you think Malala’s quest is similar to yours?".

A. "Yes, but look, the start of my journey was different. It was a very painful path. My wound is one that can never heal, it injured me beyond the body. Thankfully, Malala’s wound, though very serious, is physical. God willing, hers will heal".

Q. "Were you aware of the risks when you set out on your quest for justice?".

A. "Often when you stand up for your beliefs, even your family is not on your side. When I first raised my voice, the uneducated people were against my taking the case to the police. They said: "you’ll be disgraced; your reputation will be soiled". I wanted to do something about it. So I went ahead".

Q. "Were you afraid for your safety?".

A. "There is always danger but I told myself that the work I needed to do was more important than my life. Once I discovered that I wanted to achieve something in my life, wanted to ‘do’ something before I died, then fear receded. I set aside the fear and got on with my goals. My life is in God’s hands".

Q. "You’ve opened a girls’ school. How did you make the shift to education?".

A. "When I reported my rape, it was very hard. It was confusing, thumb-prints, papers, statements. People had to read things out to me. I met educated people and they agreed with the course I had chosen to take. They encouraged me. It was then it occurred to me that education is important. It brings enlightenment".

Q. "How do you feel about your achievements now?".

A. "I feel very good, very grateful that God gave me the capability. Our school began as a primary and just grew and grew. There was no education in the area. Now we have girls who pass metric, go to college. Maybe one day they will be in district councils, in government and other strong positions".

Q. "Has the wider society changed in recent years?".

A. "Absolutely. It’s not just the girls who want to study but their parents are finally behind them. These were parents who were abusive about educating girls, they were frightened about its effects. Look, if you allow fear in, you do nothing. You become ineffectual. But parents are very anxious about their daughters. There are many more Malalas in this society. But he who heals is more powerful than he who wounds. It is disappointing that though Islam permits women to be educated, we have this ignorance – this resistance to girls studying. Today women take to the streets to proclaim their problems, to shout about their pain. That is a massive change".

Q. "So there’s hope?".

A. "Great hope. The future is brighter. Women have a voice. They use it in public to ask for their rights. You see now, even a child like Malala has the courage to speak out. There are dangers, but placed against the need to achieve something, to express yourself, the threat is diminished. We have to keep moving ahead".

Q. "You recently held a press conference where you said you had been receiving death threats and your school had been attacked".

A. "It was to bring attention to the lack of protection given to those at risk. The authorities have reduced the security at our school. The risks have increased. I continue to receive threats that I’ll be attacked etc. I have requested help from the Punjab Government, but there’s been no response".

Q. "Do you think the authorities are responsible for the rise in extremism?".

A. "Our laws are made, but they’re never acted upon. It is our government’s fault, the fault of our legal institutions, the police, that they don’t enforce these laws. Why would anyone be bothered by the law when it’s never actioned? No one is ever punished".

"I get calls, every couple of weeks. They ring on three telephone numbers. There’s one phone I just don’t answer. They ring and say obscene things, then they make threats. If I don’t answer that number they ring others until I do answer. I’ve passed the messages on to the police, not a thing is done. What’s the deterrent for these people?".

Q. "How do you think this could be improved?".

A. "There are women in the force. But don’t just give them the uniform, give them some powers. They will understand the needs and vulnerabilities of women. When women go the police station about rape, they have to deal with men. The men ask foul, humiliating questions that we can’t answer. Why can’t women deal with women? They would know how to ask questions in a proper way. Put a woman in every police station with the necessary powers, not just the uniform. That would help the causes of women".

Q. "Do you think they would try to put some of those laws into action?".

A "They would, if they were given some power. Why would men stop when they don’t fear punishment? They’re wolves – wild beasts. Let them at least be punished so they know their crime".

Q. "So there’s more work for you?".

A. "As long as I live, I will keep fighting for the rights of women. The women here are fighting for release from their pain. Rape and cruelty happens everywhere, but here there is no justice for women when they fight from their pain. I pray to God to keep my courage alive, to keep it strong".

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Nancy Bird – Australia’s Youngest Female Pilot Was A Hero

Nancy Bird-Walton Was A War Hero And More Besides

Australias's Nancy-Bird Didn't Just Want To Fly

Nancy Bird-Walton AO, OBE, DStJ (October 16, 1915 – January 13, 2009) was the youngest Australian woman to gain a pilot’s license, and was the founder and patron of the Australian Women Pilots’ Association.

* AO – Order of Australia: OBE = Order of the British Empire: DStJ = The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem

Australia’s Youngest Female Pilot

In the 1930s, defying the traditional role of females of her time, Nancy Bird-Walton became a fully qualified pilot at the age of eighteen, and became the youngest Australian woman to gain a pilot’s license.

Nancy’s Background

Born in Kew, New South Wales, Australia on 16 October 1915 as Nancy Bird, she is said to have wanted to fly almost before she could walk.

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Dolphins – A Dolphin Saved A Boy’s Life In Italy

A Young Non-Swimmer Fell From His Father’s Boat

One of many locals dolphinss saves young  boy from drowning!

A fourteen year old boy by the name of Davide Ceci fell into the Adriatic Sea in Manfredonia, and didn’t know how to swim.

He was within a minutes or seconds of drowning when a local and well known celebrity dolphin, that the locals call Filippo, came to his rescue.

From Local Attraction To Hero

Before the incident, Filippo had simply been just a friendly 850 pound popular tourist attraction off Manfredonia in south-east Italy for around two years.

But after saving Davide, who fell from his father’s boat, he’s now a local hero!

The Father Didn’t Know His Son Had Fallen

The boy’s father, Emanuele Ceci was unaware that his son had fallen into the waves, but Filippo wasn’t, and he was pushing the boy up out of the water, and to safety.

Davide said:

"When I realised it was Filippo pushing me, I grabbed on to him".

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Hero – Jared C. Monti Gave His Life Trying To Save A Fellow Soldier

Jared C. Monti Was A Hero Who Received the Medal of Honor For His Actions In Afghanistan.

Jared C. Monti Was A Hero Who Gave His Life Saving A Fellow Soldier

Died: June 21, 2006, Nuristan Province

3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry (Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Target Acquisition)

3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry)

Deployments: Kosovo and a previous tour in Afghanistan from 2003 to 2004.

Afghanistan, February 2006.

Monti’s Military Service

After graduation, Jared attended basic training and individual advanced training in Fort Sill, Okla.

And later earned the Military Occupation Specialty of 13F , Forward Observer.

He then trained to be a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division and his colleagues said that he had a natural ability to lead as well as to be generous.

Jared suffered injuries from multiple parachute jumps in Kosovo, but declined a medical discharge and re-enlisted when he learned that his unit was being deployed to Afghanistan.

Earlier Acts Of Sacrifice

While stationed at Fort Bragg, Monti gave away a $500 kitchen table to a fellow soldier whose children were eating dinner on the floor.

And during his time in Bosnia, he drove kids to school in his Humvee and also gave away all of the new clothes his mother sent him.

Service And Bravery In Afghanistan

Staff Sgt. Monti arrived in Afghanistan in 2006 with the 10th Mountain Division and was assigned to Task Force Spartan.

On June 21, 2006 Staff Sgt. Monti led a 16-man patrol into the Hindu Kush mountains while taking part in an operation entitled Gowardesh Thrust.

The purpose of the patrol was to gather intelligence and direct fire against the enemy.

How The Battle Unfolded

Insurgents, who may have been alerted to the patrol’s position by observing a re-supply helicopter, attacked just before nightfall.

During this mission, 50 enemy fighters ambushed the patrol and to prevent being overrun, Staff Sgt. Monti directed his men to take a defensive position in a rock formation.

He then called for indirect fire support and engaged the enemy with his rifle.

Redmore, the 3rd Brigade sergeant major who listened to the fight unfold over the radio, said Monti’s actions stalled the attack and prevented the small patrol from being overrun.

"I don’t think anybody ever expects to do anything extraordinary. They try to do their job every day the best they can".

"They’re being overwhelmed by an enemy force. He’s calmly calling in fire, which breaks up the enemy force, and he’s going out to try to retrieve one of his fallen comrades. He does it once, twice, a third time. Is it extraordinary? Absolutely".

A Sad Ending To A Brave Attempt

On Monti’s last attempt to reach Bradbury, an RPG exploded nearby, mortally wounding him

Another American, Staff Sgt. Patrick Lybert died during the attack, and several more were wounded.

Bradbury, the soldier Monti was trying to save, died later, along with flight medic Staff Sgt. Heath Craig, who had been lowered by winch cable from a Medevac helicopter.

As Craig and Bradbury were being pulled up, the cable broke, and the two men fell to their deaths.

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Prince Llywelyn Killed His Faithful Dog Then Never Smiled Again

Prince Llywelyn, Lord of Snowdon and his wife Joan, the daughter of King John of all England, lived in Llywely in Wales.

And when Princess Joan first came from England she brought Prince Llywelyn a royal gift from King John, as part of her dowry.

After Killing A Brave Dog Prince Llywelyn Never Smiled Again

A magnificent wolf-hound name Gelert, with legs long and limber, a back sturdy yet supple, and the strength of all Ireland in its large Irish paws.

The dog terrorized the wild wolves for miles around and gently teased the stately palace cat, and Llywelyn and the hound Gelert became inseparable companions.

Prince Llywelyn, his retinue and his pack of wolf-hounds often stayed at a hunting lodge in the mountains, and in the autumn they would hunt deer amongst the steep wooded valleys.

One day when Llywelyn was out hunting, his faithful hound Gelert went missing, and Llywelyn returned to the lodge alone.

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