Following the footsteps of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, 14-year-old Hadiqa Bashir started a campaign to stop child marriage in Pakistan. She has taken up the stand to abolish child marriage from the conservative society at this early stage of life.
After school, Hadiqa Bashir of northwestern Swat valley would go home-to-home and tell parents not to get their daughters married at such early ages. Instead, they should send their daughters to school to gain education and stand on their feet.
Bashir has taken up the challenge to abolish child marriage in her area, where such is followed by the community to settle disputes or to keep land and money in the family. Those marriages tend to be illegal, unregistered.
The video shows Hadiqa meeting with girls of her community, discussing problems with them and getting to know about their plights after getting married so early. She spoke to Shabana, who got married when she was 12. Describing her agony, Shabana said that her in-laws would abuse her and her husband would beat her with a pipe. A couple of times Shabana tried to flee but her parents again returned her to the in-laws’ house.
Shabana has a seven-year-old sister and she does not want the same future for her. She said that her family has already started preparing for her marriage.
Shaimaa Khalil of BBC went to the rising activist and talked to her extensively. During the conversation, Bashir informed that she first encountered child marriage when one of her classmates got married. At first, they were very happy about her, but gradually when she saw her plight, she realized it is wrong.
Bashir said she used to meet parents and spread awareness about child marriage. In her campaign against child marriage, her parents have her full support. She added that running this campaign is not easy, as she faces many hurdles.