Half the Sky

Mukhtar Mai Character Analysis

Mukhtar Mai is a Punjabi woman who founded the Mukhtar Mai School for Girls in order to empower girls and prevent the use of rape as a weapon. Mukhtar herself was the survivor of retaliatory gang rape. Tenacious and intrepid, Mukhtar gained international celebrity and expanded her education programs, despite consistent danger to her life.
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Mukhtar Mai Character Timeline in Half the Sky

The timeline below shows where the character Mukhtar Mai appears in Half the Sky. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
The Oppression of Women  Theme Icon
The Complexity of Aid Theme Icon
Mukhtar’s School. “The most effective change agents aren't foreigners but local women (and sometimes men) who... (full context)
The Oppression of Women  Theme Icon
Universal Benefits of Women’s Empowerment  Theme Icon
The Complexity of Aid Theme Icon
Solutions to Address the Oppression of Women Theme Icon
Mukhtar prepared to perform the reaction expected of her: to kill herself. But, her parents prevented... (full context)
The Oppression of Women  Theme Icon
The Complexity of Aid Theme Icon
Solutions to Address the Oppression of Women Theme Icon
Mukhtar had already founded the Mukhtar Mai School for Girls, and Kristof’s column on the school... (full context)
Universal Benefits of Women’s Empowerment  Theme Icon
The Complexity of Aid Theme Icon
Solutions to Address the Oppression of Women Theme Icon
After Mukhtar’s harassment became public, the embarrassed U.S. government pressured Pakistan to release her. By the time... (full context)
The Complexity of Aid Theme Icon
Solutions to Address the Oppression of Women Theme Icon
Some efforts fail, however, the authors stress—Mukhtar personally worked to keep one girl from marrying at twelve, but the family married her... (full context)
The Oppression of Women  Theme Icon
The Complexity of Aid Theme Icon
Yet the Pakistani government persisted in their attempt to terrorize Mukhtar, smearing her with the myth that she was money-hungry, and even targeting Kristof and WuDunn.... (full context)
Universal Benefits of Women’s Empowerment  Theme Icon
Solutions to Address the Oppression of Women Theme Icon
Mukhtar’s courage shows that leaders emerge not just from privileged backgrounds, the authors argue. Her leadership... (full context)
Universal Benefits of Women’s Empowerment  Theme Icon
The Complexity of Aid Theme Icon
Solutions to Address the Oppression of Women Theme Icon
Mukhtar’s tenacity is contagious to those privileged to know her, like a policeman once enlisted to... (full context)
Chapter 14
Universal Benefits of Women’s Empowerment  Theme Icon
The Complexity of Aid Theme Icon
Solutions to Address the Oppression of Women Theme Icon
...directly encourage the reader to donate money discerningly and consider volunteering abroad at places like Mukhtar Mai’s school if possible. Further, they recommend that students try to take “gap years” to... (full context)