Hadiqa Bashir
Hadiqa Bashir

SWAT: Hadiqa Bashir, the 18-year old women rights activist who has recently been selected along with 16 young leaders by the United Nations for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), said that she would not only work for achieving the SDGs but would also carry on her mission of ending child marriages.

She was talking to this scribe about her selection by the United Nations in the latest class of 17 young leaders for SDGs.

“About 7,000 young leaders from 172 countries applied for the 2020 class. Luckily, I have been selected from Pakistan by the UN with 16 other young leaders from across the world,” she said. She added that it was not only an honour for her but also for the entire country.

Ms Bashir said that every young leader selected for SDGs was given four of the 17 goals to catalyse their achievement. “Of the 17 SDGs, I will work to ensure quality education, end poverty, achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, and end gender-based violence,” she said.

Hadiqa Bashir is among 17 young leaders selected by UN for SDGs

The rights activist said that she would actively work to engage young people in achieving the SDGs. She said that she had been working to end child marriages in Malakand division since she was 13-year-old.

“My mission of ending child marriages in my region will continue with my new responsibility as young leader,” she added.

She said that women education was indispensable for the progress and development of a nation but unfortunately girls in rural areas were deprived of education.

“An educated woman can do a respectable job and earn money. This way she will not be dependent upon her husband for her own needs,” she added.

Ms Bashir also received Mohammad Ali Humanitarian Award in 2015, Asian Girls Human Rights Ambassador Award in 2016 and other national and international recognitions.

The United Nations announced the names of 17 young leaders for SGDs on September 18 including AY Young from United States, Hadiqa Bashir from Pakistan, Layda Eskitaçolu from Turkey, Jichen Liu from China, Lester Philipp Vargas Angeles from Peru, Loay Radwan from Egypt, Mariama DjambonyBadji from Senegal, Martin Karadzhov from Bulgaria, Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi from Nigeria, Ralf Toenjes from Brazil, Satta Sheriff from Liberia, Siena Castellon from Ireland, Tania Rosas from Colombia, Tim Lo Surdo from Australia, Udit Singhal from India, VanessaNakate from Uganda and ZahinRazeen from Bangladesh.

Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2020