SS17 is the Feminist’s Fashion Week

The catwalks of Spring/Summer 2017 have been over taken by empowering young women. First Reshma Banoo Qureshi, an acid attack survivor and activist dedicated to publicly condemning violence against women in India, walked in New York Fashion Week in collaboration with FTL Moda. The trend has continued at Pakistan Fashion Week, where Mukhtar Mai walked in designer Rozina Munib’s show. Mai has been at the centre of Pakistan’s feminist movement since 2002 when she, then 28, was gang raped and subsequently paraded around her village nude as punishment for attempting to defend her brother. In 2011 Mai took her case to the Supreme Court, where she was accused of lying. It seems her fortune is turning though, as in June of this year the court’s decision went under judicial review. “It gives me a bit of peace that at least they are listening” Mai told the Guardian earlier this year. “My prayer is that these men are punished”. Should her prayers be answered, this could be a huge leap forward towards the reform of the country’s rape laws. This only adds to Mai’s already impressive list of accomplishments in the vein of women’s rights. Her memoir In the Name of Honor was released in English in 2006, the same year she founded Mukhtar Mai Women’s Organization in her hometown. Focused on providing education and shelter for girls and young women who are victims of abuse or violence, her Women’s Shelter shares the same goals as she did when stepping onto the runway earlier this week. “I am walking the ramp to spread awareness about the struggles women go through. This is for the women in my society, it is for those who have no one and no place to go to” she told The Express Tribune. “All that I do, I do it for my children [at the shelter] and women. This is for them. I can’t do this alone, hence I found an anchor in the media to help spread my message.” Banner image courtesy of AP.

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