A Widow’s Struggle: Shazia Bibi’s Fight Against Harassment and Injustice

Farrukh Saif

January 4, 2024

Shazia Bibi and Children

In the small town of Punjab, Pakistan, where Shazia Bibi resides, life took an unforeseen turn when her husband, Mushtaq Maish, succumbed to asthma two years ago. Mushtaq Maish who was enslave at the local brick kiln, providing for their family of six. Following his demise, Shazia found herself thrust into a relentless battle against not only grief but also a hostile work environment.

The brick kiln, once a source of livelihood, became a breeding ground for harassment and injustice. Shazia, determined to support her three daughters and five-year-old son, joined her late husband’s profession. Little did she know that this decision would expose her to a series of traumatic incidents.

As the family’s financial needs mounted, Shazia spent extended hours at the kiln, often leaving her vulnerable to the unsavory behavior of her male colleagues. Instances of harassment began to escalate, with some coworkers crossing unthinkable boundaries and attempting to assault her sexually.

The situation took a darker turn when the harassers targeted Shazia’s young son, a mere five years old. Distraught and desperate, she turned to the kiln authorities and lodged complaints with the local police. To her dismay, her pleas fell on deaf ears, and justice remained elusive.

Even after that, she and her children faced further brutality from the kiln staff and owner. They were even forced to embrace Islam, or else they would have to pay the full debt within a month.

Upon learning her story, ECSPE planned to rescue the persecuted Christian family from this miserable life, and we succeeded in liberating them from slavery. We relocated them to a safer location, providing housing and jobs for Shazia so she could support her family.

Our organization plays a crucial role in addressing the persecution of Christians in countries like Pakistan. Where Christian persecution is prevalent, our organizations work tirelessly to help the persecuted, combat discrimination against Christians, and provide humanitarian relief.

Our faith-based organization extends its efforts beyond Christian missions, aiding those facing religious prosecution or discrimination.

Shazia Bibi, symbolizes resilience in the face of adversity, determined to secure a safer future for her children. This journalistic account sheds light on the harrowing experiences she endured, highlighting the urgent need for action against workplace harassment and the prevailing culture of silence that allows such atrocities to persist.

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Farrukh Saif

Farrukh H. Saif, a courageous Christian human rights activist, established the Farrukh Saif Foundation in 2009 to confront religious discrimination, blasphemy laws, and bonded slavery in Pakistan. His dedication to liberating bonded laborers from brick kilns and advocating for blasphemy victims and asylum seekers has garnered international acclaim. Despite encountering threats and fatwas, his impactful work persists in supporting marginalized communities. In 2018, the foundation merged with The Emergency Committee to Save the Persecuted and Enslaved, enhancing its global outreach.


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