“13 May, 2011, the day started with pleasant morning but becomes the darkest day of my life when my Fourteen years old daughter was killed by her father,” said Zeib-Ul-Nisa (Pseudonyms) from Southern Punjab, Pakistan.
Although women in Pakistan face social and economic desecration at all levels but gender discrimination, inhuman customs and honor killing are the challenges those are worst and demolishing their basic rights. Behavioral change is a basic obstacle that needs to be addressed for giving ideal society and environment to our girls. My pain point is early child marriage and inhuman customs against women that I want to solve by promoting education. My struggle to fight against child marriage was being motivated by the story of Shazia when I visited Southern Punjab to monitor flood affected areas.
Zeib-Ul-Nisa, Mother of three daughters and a son, belongs to a family where irrelevant cultural ethos and norms are deep rooted. Although throughout Pakistan, family honor has been associated with girls but in most patriarchal societies of the country people are benefiting themselves by slaughtering their girls in the name of “Family Honor”. Zeib-Ul-Nisas’ 14 years old daughter “Shazia” is among those girls who have been punished for demolishing the honor of family.
Shazia preferred to continue her studies instead of being married with an old man and this was one of the worst crime she ever committed in her ten years journey. Zeib-Ul-Nisa wants to save her daughter as she was also the victim of child marriage but she was helpless and couldn’t save the life of her innocent daughter due to the family pressure. Her daughter was being raped by her grandfather who went on to repeat this crime many times.
“My innocent daughter was suffering from sexual abuse. I was feeling her pain. I talked to her father; he brutally tortured me and asked to shut my mouth as this was the matter of family honor. My daughter was dreaming to serve her village by earning the degree of MBBS but her own father slaughtered her over adultery charges,” Zeib-Ul-Nisa told.
Her story was shocking for me and I was thinking that how a fourteen years old girl can dishonor her family and commit adultery while being raped by her grandfather? In small villages of Pakistan almost 65 per cent girls are being married in the age of 14 that ruin their dreams whatsoever they have. They lose their basic rights to education, health and opportunities. They just serve their husband and in-laws and become mothers. To prevent child marriage I am ensuring that majority of girls and women even they are married have opportunities and access to education as lack of awareness and absence of education are the obstacles those needs attention.