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Gulalai Ismail, a 32-year-old Pashtun human rights activist, founded Aware Girls, an organization combatting violence against women, at age 16. The group aims to educate and mobilize girls and women against social oppression, especially in her home province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. At the time of this portrait, Ismail and Aware Girls were charged with blasphemy for undertaking “immoral” activities and for challenging harmful religious traditions. Image by Sara Hylton/National Geographic. Pakistan, 2019.

Gulalai Ismail, a 32-year-old Pashtun human rights activist, founded Aware Girls, an organization combatting violence against women, at age 16. The group aims to educate and mobilize girls and women against social oppression, especially in her home province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. At the time of this portrait, Ismail and Aware Girls were charged with blasphemy for undertaking “immoral” activities and for challenging harmful religious traditions. Image by Sara Hylton/National Geographic. Pakistan, 2019.