Bashir was born in 2002 to Iftikhar Hussain (father) and Sajda Ifthikar (mother). Bashir was ten years old when her grandmother wanted to marry her off. She had seen the plight of her classmate who was married at an early age and did not want to get married. the founder of Girls United for Human Rights helped her push off the marriage.Since then, Bashir has been working in her community to help end child marriages.
The journey for Bashir started after her own struggle to avoid a marriage. In 2014, she founded Girls United for Human Rights to fight for women's rights. After school, she goes from house to house to talk to women persuading them to not marry off their young teenage daughters. She advocates for education for girls. She intervenes whenever she hears of a forced marriage. She has been able to convince five families in her community to not force their young daughters to marry. Through her organization, Bashir helps women who face domestic abuse. The aids are medical or legal so that the women are supported.
Girls United is a group of fifteen girls who conduct awareness sessions in local schools, colleges and in communities to openly talk about benefits of child education and health. Through her work, Bashir wants her conservative community to start seeing women's rights, education and marriage differently.
“We live in a constricted society,” says Hadiqa, “and I am going against the paternal system.”
To date, she says she has convinced five families in her community not to force their young daughters into early marriage. Earlier this year, she stopped one family from marrying off their seven-year-old daughter.
Others girls have not been so fortunate.
Shahida was married when she was seven years old, Hadiqa recalls. Now 17, she has a two-year-old son. In the early years of her marriage, Shahida was too small to take on domestic chores around the house, angering her mother-in-law so much that she accused Shahida of having affairs with other men. As punishment, her husband cut off her nose to disfigure her.
“we are providing her legal aid, and we have also referred her for medical aid, and now she has been undergoing reconstructive surgery for her nose,” says Hadiqa. “She has had her second surgery and now, with our help, she is recovering.”