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In the Name of Honour: A Memoir

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  2,078 ratings  ·  185 reviews
In June 2002, Mukhtar Mai, a Pakistani woman from the impoverished village of Meerwala, was gang-raped by a local clan known as the Mastoi — punishment for indiscretions allegedly committed by the woman's brother. While certainly not the first account of a female body being negotiated for honor in a family, this time the survivor had bravely chosen to fight back. In doing ...more
Paperback, 172 pages
Published 2006 by Virago Press (UK)
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☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
It would seem that they have no judicial system to speak of. They do need some laws, stringent but fair ones, and quite a lot of sane people to uphold them. And I mean really sane as it seams that fair judges and policemen are about as rare to find in there as dragons and unicorns.

And they also would need to implement some really stringent laws regarding:
- The policemen who would falsify heaps of documents.
- The judges who would harass poor women unused to speak up.
- All the village yahoos who d
Dec 27, 2020 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings for books like this.On the one hand,a shocking crime is highlighted.But on the other hand,the victim is glorified and turned into something of a celebrity,by the constant media attention.

In 2002,a Pakistani village woman,Mukhtar Mai,was gang raped.The circumstances were unusual,she was allegedly sentenced by a village council to suffer this fate.

This was in retaliation for her brother having allegedly had illicit relations a woman of another clan.Mukhtar Mai claims that he
Jun 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: world

This review contains some spoilers

This is the story of Mukhtar Mai, a Pakastini woman who was raped by four men as part of ‘crime of honour’. This is a tit-for-tat revenge system that operates widely in Pakistan. It takes place when a clan (family) believes it has had a wrong done to them, and as a punishment they rape a woman (or murder or disfigure a woman), belonging to the clan who has 'wronged' them. Basically, a woman from the accused family becomes the vehicle for the revenge punishment.
Muhammad Ali
May 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Read this book in 5 hours. This is a story of a woman name Mukhtara, Mukhtara live in a remote village of Pakistan, she was brutally raped by 4 men. Those men belongs to a powerful tribe named Mastoi, but she didn't give up and struggled for the justice. Mukhtara faced many obstacles in her way and at one point the culprits were released on the order of Lahore(capital of Punjab province) High Court due to lack of evidences, this was a serious threat for her life. She personally visited the top o ...more
Rebekka Steg
In the Name of Honor by Mukhtar Mai is an incredibly powerful, and extremely important memoir that tells of her fight for justice. Mukhtar Mai is from a remote village in Pakistan, who was "sentenced" to be gang-raped by the tribal council of her village, to pay for a crime her 12-year-old brother did not even commit. However, she does not dwell on the injustice committed against her, but instead focuses on her fight for justice and dignity. Instead of committing suicide, as was expected of her, ...more
Lisa N
Jan 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an account of Mukhtar Mai, a peasant Pakistani woman, who in June 2002 was condemned by a tribal council to be gang raped. The rape was in retribution for a false allegation made against her 12-year-old brother. Rather than commit suicide, as was expected, she pressed charges and somehow captured the attention of the international media.

Pakistan is a feudal society where it is common for women to be raped and mutilated. Women are kept illiterate and forced to be subservient, not only to
Avital Gertner-Samet
Dishonored (aka: In the Name of Honor) was an amazing non-fiction. Written by a French reporter and told by the heroine herself in her mother tongue – a tribal dialect from northern Pakistan.

This is a story about a fight against the tribal rules which accept brutality against women (inc. rape and murder) as a common way of ironing out differences among men, inc. disputes about the purchase of lands or even about a barking dog.

To our western ear that sounds foul, but in rural Pakistan women accep
Elliot Ratzman
Mukhtar Mai, an illiterate peasant twenty-something in Pakistan, was the victim of a gang-rape by members of a powerful clan. They accused her adolescent brother of sex crimes, and demanded Mukhtar submit herself before the town council, which was dominated by strongmen from the powerful clan. Instead of killing herself in shame after the gang-rape, she protested her treatment, pursuing her assailants first with the (corrupt) police, and then successfully (at first) in the courts. Her case recei ...more
Vibina Venugopal
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
There was a period where I was reading reading books on the atrocities done on women back to back..This was one among the collections..Though I loved the book it took sometime for me to complete... Procrastination has taken up on me, and I have decided to fight back...

Breaking the suspense right in the beginning let me state that I'm in awe for this lady Mukhtar Mai, who like phoenix rose from ash...Mukhtar Mai in late twenties,is divorced yet leads a respectable life, teaching Quran to the loca
What a remarkable, brave woman. Mukhtar Mai overcame the humiliation of gang rape - a brutal, premeditated attack designed to terrorize her family and cement another family's dominance in the area - and instead of committing suicide as so many rape victims in her situation do, she became an outspoken activist for Pakistani women. Over and over, she speaks of her frustration with her illiteracy at the time of her attack and how important education is for both girls and boys if the situation in he ...more
Dec 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: stated in review
Recommended to Dana by: nobody
just a line or two right now as I have other deadlines happening. I am an MLS reference librarian/ large city urban libraries but not as huge as NYC or Los Angeles.

This is the best new book I have read in perhaps twenty years. Linguistically it is extraordinarily simple yet grace-filled in its descriptions. The events in the case are distressing and horrifying.

alert: the below does disclose some of the closing events about the lady's experiences.
Eventually, when legal advocacy individuals from I
Sabrina Rutter
Mukhtar Mai was born and raised in a poor farming village in Pakistan. There was nothing outstanding about her compared with the other women in her village. She led a quite, peaceful life within the comforts of her family home teaching Koran verses to the local children, and embroidery to the local women to help bring in money for her family. She had worked hard to be an honorable woman after a breif marriage, and subsequent divorce. All of this changed however on the night of June 22, 2002.

Ayaz Kohli
Apr 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Mukhtaran Mai, as she is addressed, the Mai appellation being that of an honour in her culture- the honour of being an elder sister or mother. She earned that honour the hardest way- by losing what her tormentors believed would restore their honours! Honour for honour! just like- eye for an eye! I read this memoir around a decade ago, somewhere during 2008. But the precise scene, the visual that impaled my senses, as though I was a witness to her shame, the moments of her humiliations are still ...more
Jun 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
and a Will to Survive

Inspirational and heart wrenching at the same time - this woman is truly amazing to say the least. Nothing seems to have been lost in the translation and still has an impact on the reader second to none.

Cruel and barbaric to think that even in this day and age the trauma and the cruelties inflicted upon Mukhtar Mai and tens of thousands of other women in similiar situations are still 'socially acceptable' in some cultures.

Purely just because they are b
Zenab Ch
May 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
I'm sad that I had to give this book such a low rating. I abandoned the book midway, couldn't read on. Even though Mukhtar Mai is am excellent example for battered, oppressed, wronged women all over the world this story does her and her cause no justice. This book is extremely dry, it seems lost in translation. I don't believe this is the voice of Mukhtar Mai. It seems that the author heard the translated version of the story and then wrote what she thinks Mukhtar Mai would say. Even then she us ...more
Oct 21, 2010 rated it liked it
This is an appalling true story which really shows how woman are suffering in this world despite all talk of equality. Mukhtar's young brother is wrongly accused of flirting with a notorious older girl from the next farm and his family demand justice. This takes the form of a brutal gang rape on Mukhtar who is then expected to kill herself because she has brought shame on her family. Instead she is determined to take her attackers to court.

What am amazing woman this is. She was duped into going
May 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Mukhtar Mai was sentenced to be gang-raped to atone for the accusation that her younger brother made advances toward a higher caste woman. The sentence was carried out and it was expected that Mai would either commit suicide because of the shame or live a defeated life of loneliness as she bore her shame. Instead she fought back through multiple layers of government and against the deeply entrenched values of her culture. She started a school for girls and continues the effort to raise the statu ...more
Sash Chiesa
Sep 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
For me, the book is truly awe-inspiring. It's not a great literary work or work of art. It accounts for the total disregard of human rights and absence of even a faint light of humanity in certain people or places in our world which then culminates into innumerable human right violations, heinous crimes and unimaginable brutality. It's sad to know that so many things are unimaginable to these people which are taken for granted by us. Throughout this book, every incident has been plainly told and ...more
Aug 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone with an interest in the world we live in.
This is quite a story. It is very easy to read, it took me about 2 hours to read the entire book, and it is one of the most gripping books I've read in a while.
It is a story (translated a couple of times) of a woman who has overcome unspeakable horrors in a baffling system to accomplish a lot. This book made me angrier than I have been in a while, and I am familiar with their culture and ridiculously backward system.
It's very frustrating to think that in the 21st century, a country that has nu
Jan 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredible. Read it in 24 hours. One thing I really liked was the pacing and language of the book. The woman represented in this book was not literate when it was written. The woman who wrote down the story does an excellent job of writing in a language that reflects Mukhtar Mai's illiteracy. Very quick read, excellent story. Not the deepest book, simply because language doesn't lend that, but definitely increased my awareness about the plight of women who are utterly uneducated and hopelessly d ...more
Sally McRogerson
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's the 21st century! I had to keep reminding myself of that whilst reading this book. Women in Pakistan are still being beaten, raped, murdered and burnt with acid, all in the name of honour!! Is it me?

This devout Muslim woman refused to comply with the code and, having been gang raped, a sentence handed down due to an alleged offence of her 12 year old brother, she was supposed to go away and commit suicide. This is the story of what happened when she deviated from that path. It makes hard re
Apr 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was handed this book 1 day & told I had to read it. You were right, Cindy! We take for granted our lifestyles, choices and rights here in Canada when many in other countries don't have basic rights. We assume our children will be educated and continue on in their lives to have careers, families, homes and so much more. This book really opened my eyes to how fortunate we are and how entitled our children are becoming in the world we're creating for them. I will definitely share this story with ...more
Sep 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Powerful story of one woman's journey taking on Muslim men and a corrupt judicial system. One thing I found so interesting is that she actually taught classes on the Quran but she herself could not read. She could only recite from memory what she had been taught. She doesn't actually know that there are passages in the book she's teaching that condone the very behavior that she condemns that has been done to her. So sad that so many live in ignorance of their own religion. ...more
Jan Ahmed
Sep 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Out of all of the books that I enjoy reading, my favorite category is biographies. I read "In the name of Honor," by Mukhtar Mai. This was a wonderful fast paced book which deserves to be read more than it has been. I would recommend it for those who read stories about women and humanities. It is a better read than most of the popular books on this subject.
Mukhtar Mai is a woman living in the southern region (Sindh), of Pakistan. Her story begins when she is gang raped by males from another tri
Nov 07, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
An easy read that is also very inspirational. Even though it has been translated about 4 times (Saraiki->Urdu->French->English) to get to it's intended audience in the non-French speaking West, it still seems to hold the same power as Mai's relentless pursuance of justice. The reader can almost feel the frustration, anger and fatalism with which Mai takes on her oppressors, and also starts to recognize the systems of oppression which impede any progress toward true equality.

Mai recognizes the u
Oct 02, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the memoir of Mukhtar Mai, a Pakistani woman from the impoverished village of Meerwala, as told to the French writer, Marie-Therese Cuny, and translated from French to English by Linda Coverdale. In June 2002 Mukhtar was gang raped as a form of tribal jusice for indiscretions allegedly committed by her brother. This tradition of a female body being negotiated for honor in a family, actually goes against the official laws of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan but the practice continues in a ...more
Nov 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Told in the first person the book concerns the true fight for justice by the author. She talks about the status of women in Pakistan and the way they are controlled by men. Her courage is amazing and she continues to fight for herself, to help others who come to her for help and has also set up a school to educate girls so that they do not grow up illiterate (funded by charity) and boys (state funded) to try and counteract the prevailing culture. The caste system is overlayered with feuds where ...more
Jul 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Paige by: a textbook
Mukhtar Mai is a fucking hero! I love her so much!

I read this book in a day--it's 170 pages but the print is large and the pages are fairly small in my edition. It's an easy read when it comes to language--it's the subject matter that's difficult. This book probably wouldn't win any awards for prose, but keep in mind it's been translated three times from Mai's language. I just can't give her story any less than 5 stars. What a wonderful woman she is. I know if I had gone through her position, be
Nov 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The pain, anxiety, helplessness, humiliation, anger, frustration and all the other negative emotions are present in this book. But she did not give up. Even when that would have been the most natural thing to do. She fought on. Ofcourse with the help of others. Who can battle such a war all on one's own. But in the end she won. For herself and for all the other women who give up without a fight.
Rape is a henious crime.
But rape is not a fault of the woman.
Rape is by men who forever need to prove
Apr 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
What an inspiration this book is. Mukhtar was gand raped as punishment for a crime her brother was accused of. rather than commiting suicide, as was expected, she went in search of justice. For a traditional muslim pakistani woman, illiterate and uneducated, this was a huge thing to do. She won and has stared a school in her village for girls because she believes the only way to free women of the violence and mistreatment they face acording to muslim custom is to educate the grils. A must read
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