In an act of courage, Mukhtar Mai, who was sentenced to be gang raped in 2002 for bringing dishonour to a male family member, walked the runway at the Pakistan Fashion Week on Tuesday.

By walking in the show, Mukhtar aims to raise awareness about gender-based violence and also remove the stigma around victims of sexual assault.

‘I want to be the voice of those women who face circumstances similar to what I did,’ Mukhtar said at the closing ceremony of the three-day event. ‘My message for my sisters is that we aren’t weak. We have a heart and a brain; we also think.’

‘I ask my sisters to not lose hope in the face of injustice, as we will get justice one day for sure.’

In 2002 Mukhtar was ordered to be gang raped and then paraded naked for what her brother deemed as offensive behaviour. Since the rape, Mukhtar has taken the men involved to court, has become an advocate for women’s rights and founded Mukhtar Mai Women’s Welfare Organisation. ‘Fourteen men – the alleged rapists and the tribal council members – were put on trial, and six were handed the death sentence. But all of them were eventually released on appeal,’ reports Sydney Morning Herald.