Sunday, October 21, 2007

Poughkeepsie Branch Shows the Movie Shame at Vassar Film Theater

The Poughkeepsie Branch of AAUW showed the film Shame at the Vassar College’s film theater. The editor of the film is Niharika Desai, daughter of member Geeta Desai. The film was directed by Mohammed Naqvi.

Shame is the inspiring story of a real-life heroine of our time. The documentary relates the story of Mukhtaran Mai, a Pakistani village woman who, in 2002, was publicly gang raped to atone for a crime her brother allegedly committed. This uneducated woman raised an outcry that became an international cause with wide-reaching consequences. A powerful village tribe learns that Mukhtaran’s 12 year old brother is having an affair with one of its girls. He is accused of rape, beaten up and raped himself. His sister’s honor is demanded as reparation. The 30 year old Mukhtaran is handed over by her father and uncle to the tribe, who abuse her as the whole village watches. Instead of committing suicide, as she is expected to do, the young veiled woman insists on reporting her rape to the police many miles away. Eventually her tormentors are arrested and put on trial. Defying all expectation, Mukhtaran opens the first schools for children in her village and enrolls herself. Pakistani officialdom gets cold feet when she is invited to conferences abroad.

Over 200 members of AAUW, the community and Vassar faculty and students attended the film showing.

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