Ms Mai remained in her Punjab village after the attack and used her compensation and donations to set up a girls’ school and refuge. Several of the children of her alleged rapists have attended the school, she said.
“The parents don’t come, but other people from their families do come. They just find out about the kids education, they just want to inquire. It’s professional.”
Her attackers had at first tried to reach a compromise settlement with her, but she said she was determined to fight through the courts. None of the men had shown genuine remorse, she believed.
“On the one hand I was happy that the case was reactivated, but on the other hand I was anxious and a little apprehensive because the previous judgment was against me.”
Saroop Ijaz, Pakistan researcher for Human Rights Watch, said the country had introduced new laws on so-called honour killings, acid attacks and the role of village councils or jirgas since Ms Mai’s case.
“The widespread misogyny and patriarchal structures still remain intact. For example Pakistan remains the only country in South Asia to not have a woman Supreme Court judge,” he said.