How This Former Child Bride Spoke Out in Pakistan

Ending child, early, and forced marriage in Pakistan: How are community leaders addressing the root causes of the isse?

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Ending child, early, and forced marriage in Pakistan: How are community leaders addressing the root causes of the issue?
One day, 13-year-old Zarmina came home from school and received surprising news: her wedding to a 28-year-old man was scheduled for the very next day. Once she was married, Zarmina was expected to do all the household chores. Her husband beat her violently, and the slightest mistake meant being starved for a week or more.
In Fundamental Pakistan Episode, “Rights Not Roses,” we hear directly from Zarmina, her family, and a network of community activists fighting to end the scourge of early and forced marriage in Pakistan, where 21% of girls are married before the age of 18. These include Rukhshana Naz, a human rights attorney and long-time gender rights leader who is fighting in Pakistan’s courts to extricate girls like Zarmina from early and forced marriages, and whose passionate advocate for ending child marriage is formed by her family’s own experiences with the issue.
Feminist movements have the power to disrupt the status quo and radically alter the course of history for women and girls—and ALL historically marginalized people and communities globally. But what does it really look like to be a feminist leader today?
At a time of unprecedented political uprisings around the globe, from Haiti to Chile to Hong Kong to Sudan to Lebanon and beyond, Fundamental invites global audiences to engage directly with grassroots movements and community leaders who are standing up for our fundamental human rights. The series profiles a distinct set of remarkable grassroots leaders working on issues from ending child marriage in Pakistan to pursuing LGBTQI liberation in Georgia. These incredible leaders are at the front lines of fighting for gender justice and mobilizing to write new futures for themselves, their societies, and the world.
Global Fund for Women envisions a world in which movements for gender justice have transformed power and privilege for a few into equity and equality for all. As a feminist fund, we offer flexible support to a diverse group of partners—more than 5,000 groups across 175 countries so far—to create meaningful change that will last beyond our lifetimes. To learn more about our work, visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Fundamental Episode PakistanReleased on March 4, 2020

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