Humaira Bachal Fights for Pakistani Women
At just 12 years old, Humaira Bachal went around her rural village in Pakistan, knocking on doors, advocating for education. She had to fight for her own right to learn, sneaking off to classes against her father's will. Now, as a global advocate for women's education in Pakistan, she no longer needs to hide. Bachal started her activism work in her village, Moach Goth, recruiting students for a small school she had recently opened. Her small campaign grew to what is a now a school employing 22 teachers and educating 1,200 young Pakistanis. Oscar-winning director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy took note of Bachal's unrelenting advocacy and featured her in a short film series on extraordinary Pakistanis. One would think that in a country where Malala Yousafzai, a fellow advocate for girls’ education, was shot for her work, getting such global attention would make Bachal uneasy. Yet she feels no fear. In an interview with NPR, Bachal said, "It is not just one Malala or one Bachal who has raised a voice to change this situation. There are a lot of other girls who are trying to change things. Even if they kill 100 Humairas, they won't be able to stop us." Bachal will be speaking with Obaid-Chinoy on the importance of girls’ education at the Women in the World event at Washington D.C. Watch these extraordinary women in conversation here.