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Gang-rape victim named 'Woman of the Year'

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NEW YORK, Nov 3, 2005 (UPI via COMTEX) -- Pakistani Mukhtar Mai, who after being gang-raped brought the men responsible for the attack to court, has been awarded Glamour magazine's Woman of the Year award.

In a ceremony Wednesday evening in New York's Avery Fisher Hall attended by many celebrities, Mai was praised for "her incredible courage and optimism in the face of terrible violence," the BBC reported Thursday.

Mai, 36, has promised to donate the $20,000 prize money to charity, with $5,000 going to aid those affected by the Oct. 8 earthquake and the rest going to fund schools and a women's crisis center.

She spoke Tuesday in Washington, D.C., before a congressional hearing on human rights and Monday visited the U.S. headquarters of the human rights watchdog Amnesty International.

In 2002, Mai said, a council of elders in her village in eastern Punjab province ordered her to be gang-raped as punishment for her 13-year-old brother's alleged affair with a woman from a higher caste. Mai and her family deny the accusation and say the brother was sexually assaulted by members of the other family.


Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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