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A dream of Sajida, who escaped an early marriage

I have a dream of providing free education for girls

Sajida's story

Sajida, 17, was being forced into marriage by her own family earlier this year. She sought the help of a community leader who actively campaigns against early child marriage and has influence over the community. The community leader confronted Sajida's family, informed them about the law, while also educating them on the importance of her education.

Sajida is now pursuing a Bachelor's degree and dreams of providing free education for girls in her village. "I want to help those who'll never have a chance at getting an education because of their families' expectations and financial constraints."

16 Days of activism in Pakistan

Oxfam in Pakistan works for creating a global movement related to the #16daysofactivism has a big theme of “Free from Fear”. This theme was chosen by looking at the status quo, wherein most societies, sexual harassment, abuse, and discrimination are pervasive at home, in public places, and at the workplaces. The fear of sexual harassment and violence limits women’s mobility and their social interaction deprives them of the right to self-determination and forces them to be dependent on men. This condition prevents women from accessing economic, social and political opportunities.

In the context of Pakistan, fear operates to prevent Pakistani women from achieving their full potential. The fear of violence in the home prevents women from voicing their needs and bearing the burden of care-work and household chores. The fear of negative labels and being socially ostracised prevents them from pursuing their education, careers, and professions of choice and following their dreams. The fear of being subjected to violence and harassment on the streets and public places keeps them housebound and away from economic, social, political, and legal opportunities as equal citizens. And the fear of harassment at the workplace holds them back, prevents them from speaking their mind and achieving the level of attainment they are capable of.

The campaign will be focusing on violence and harassment on public transport, where it will be linking safety in these spaces with economic empowerment and convince our audience that a world free from fear would be a more prosperous and productive world for everyone as women’s ability to access safe, reliable transport enables them to participate in economic activities, access education, health, and other important services.

Here are some visuals made by Oxfam in Pakistan related to their big theme in this 16 days of activism: