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A teenage girl in Pakistan campaigns against Child Marriage in her society


Swat Valley (Pakistan): Hadqai Bashir, age 14,

campaigns in Pakistan’s Swat Valley (the home of Malala youssefi) to stop child marriages although it’s the custom prevailing there. She is living in a community where such marriages are considered as norm. Moreover, in her society, girls are offered for marriage as exchange for settling a dispute or to keep lands in the family. But Changing the mindset and centuries old traditions of a conservative society is never easy , especially for a young girl. But that is exactly what the teenage activist Hadqai Bashir living in Pakistan’s north-western Swat valley is trying to achieve. Recently one of her classmates was married when she was in sixth grade and Hadqai came to know how she suffered after her marriage. According to her it is a patriarchal custom prevailing in her society and hence, she has been trying to spread awareness, especially among parents of girls. After school timings, she goes to talk with girls and families in her neighborhoods with her parents’ consent. A 16-year old another girl named Shabana who had got married years before, revealed that her husband’s family members were used to beat her often, including hitting by her husband with a pipe. After that, when she tried to go back to her home, she said that her own parents were returned her back. But when her seven-year-old sister was to be married, Hadaqi intervened and talked to them about the consequences of child marriage. The child’s mother then said that she won’t repeat the mistake she had committed with her older daughter. Any way, the venture of ending child marriages from the conservative community will be a Herculean challenge for Hadiqa Bashir   Video on the campaign of a teenage hirl to stop child marriages in Pakistan