Of course, life is beautiful when every person can live without the threat of harassment, assault, and insecurity. But women are more vulnerable all over the world and they need more safety in their lives. As an Afghan girl, I can surely say that it is a dream for a woman to live in a safe place, to not face any problem in the street, to be permitted by their family to study her higher education, and to not suffer from the limitations and laws that close her ways. In Afghanistan, women are constantly challenged by these situations. So let me imagine a different world for women in my country.
Right now, on the streets, there are not just men. Women also can walk whenever they want. Women are not afraid of anything. Girls can attend their classes even late at night. They can go to a gym or a private educational center and train to be the best fighter, the best football player, the best speaker, the best leader. They can gain the skills to be the best in any field in the whole world. There are not any limitations in their lives and the universe helps to make a better life for them.
Women and girls can ride their bikes and participate in any program they want. Mothers and fathers help their daughters to achieve their goals, always encourage them and wish them all the best. Right now, girls do not just dream of being a super star, they work toward being a super star in each area they want. Choosing which clothes to wear is not too hard for them because no one will criticize them about their clothes. They can be the president, a good doctor, the best athlete, the best singer, or the best artist. When we look in government and private sector offices, we see that there are not just men who work there, but women also work there. The law says women and men are equal. Being a girl or a woman is not a challenge, nor does it make any problem in their lives. They can choose their partner without any obstacles or interference.
Women and girls will remember Rukhshana, the 19-year-old girl who was stoned to death after she tried to escape a forced marriage with a 45-year-old man. She was killed by people who made life like a hell for her. Why? Because she was a girl. Her father, her brother and her relatives decided what she should do, and she could not make choices herself. Women and girls will remember Farkhonda, a devout student of Islam who was brutally killed by a mob of savage men just for raising her voice and challenging harmful cultural practices. First, they beat her badly that all her face became bloody. Next, they tore up her clothes and her scarf. Then they beat her with wood, rocks, their feet and other things. Lastly, they burned her dead body.
In a world free of violence, women and girls can raise their voices and challenge the opinions of others without suffering the destiny of Farkhonda. They will not have Rukhshana's experience. There will not be any assaults, threats or harassment in their lives. Women in Afghanistan could have a good life and be major contributors to improving our broken country.
In this new world, I won’t suffer to see the women's situation which is so unpromising. I won’t feel so helpless to make changes in my society. I will be supported when I want to challenge any difficulties and stand up to raise my voice. People will take me seriously, they will know I am strong, they will respect my ideas. I will be praised for speaking out. I will be permitted to laugh loudly without shame or ridicule. People will listen to me and all the eyes that are staring at me will be full of respect and admiration – not full of accusations and threats that I will burn in hell's fire for the words on my tongue or the clothes on my body.
I will walk down the street freely. I will see girls riding bicycles on the street with their family’s permission and without the dirty words of men and boys who will run after her and break her bike. Fathers and brothers will not be accused that they are unable to control their wives and daughters. They will be praised for the strength, intelligence, and talents of the women in their family.
The best ways to make this vision a reality are: 1. Education; 2. Supporting each other; and 3. Never giving up.
Education is the best way to help women to make a good life for themselves. It is clear that nowadays society needs strong and educated people for improvement. So women should face their hardship and never stop learning. When women are educated, they can work. And they can make a good life for themselves and their daughters and can help other women who need their help. When women are educated, they will know what their problem is and how can they solve it. At that time, they can support each other. Educated women will have brighter dreams for their daughters and will support them to pursue their dreams. If women believe they can achieve their goals, others will believe it too. So women should face their challenges and never give up.
I will live to see the day when women live for themselves in Afghanistan. Afghan women will show themselves to the world and our country will be one of the best countries in the world.A World Free of Violence