With wedding pictures flooding everyone’s timelines, all eyes are on the latest wedding trends and designs.
At this year’s HUM Bridal Couture Week, a Pakistani designer Ali Xeeshan, used the platform to highlight a social cause — the epidemic of child marriages in Pakistan. His showstopper wasn’t a lehenga-clad supermodel, but a young girl who stood in defiance of child marriage in a powerful campaign that Ali created in collaboration with UN Women Pakistan called ‘Bridal Uniform’.
Last year, Ali used this platform talk about the issue of forced underage marriages in Pakistan and this year, he used the stage to challenge the social menace of child marriages in Pakistan. Child marriages continue to happen in Pakistan even when there are numerous organizations and groups trying to change the laws regarding it. Ali’s image of a young girl with bridal makeup and jewelry, wearing a school uniform, was absolutely astounding and soon it went viral on social media.
Posting the pictures on his Instagram, Ali said:
DO NOT LET A LITTLE GIRL TRADE HER SCHOOL UNIFORM FOR A BRIDAL OUTFIT.
Fashion has always meant more than just clothes to me. I have always aimed to cross the boundaries and further my voice through this platform. This collaboration with @unwomenpakistan was done for the same purpose. We all celebrate weddings and brides but forget that there is a sad reality around us regarding the same subject. Child marriage is a problem with unimaginable consequences.
I will continue changing the meaning of fashion for the better. I hope you will too.
Check out the pictures here:
Even though the Pakistan’s Child Marriage Restraint Act (CMRA) increased the legal age for marriage from 16 to 18 nationwide, around 21% of girls in Pakistan are married before the age of 18. (source)
Ali has joined forces with the UN Women to talk about this regressive practice:
A girl walked the Hum Bridal Couture Week 2017 ramp wearing a school uniform embellished with bridal motifs; symbolising the unfortunate trade-off.
— UN Women Pakistan (@unwomen_pak) December 11, 2017
Many Pakistani celebs have joined the campaign:
— Momina Mustehsan (@MominaMustehsan) December 10, 2017
A girl appeared wearing a #BridalUniform at #HumBridalCoutureWeek ramp to symbolising the unfortunate trade-off when a child is deprived of her right to an education and is instead married.
Raise ur voice to put an end to #childmarriages . pic.twitter.com/Z3ao1bLd2h
— Javeria Siddique (@javerias) December 11, 2017
Not just Pakistan, child marriage is a grim reality in India too! We can take a lesson or two from our neighbours and raise our voice against this issue.