Zeph Girl's Diary Part 5

Sister Zeph
Posted May 17, 2016 from Pakistan

On the Eid day when our all relatives were at my home my father’s brother was also there he immediately said to me you will not go to school from today and it is my decision which cannot be changed.

But I stood up among all the guests and my family and I spoke our slogan which is being taught to us at Zeph center ‘’ I am a Zeph Girl and nothing can stop me from getting education’’ I said it very loudly and with full power of my voice I wanted everyone to understand it that I will get education by any cost, by listening this my father started beating me I said beat me until I die because if I will remain alive I will get education.

My uncle said to my father it is because of your wife because she did not tell your daughters about our values you have to control them now do not give them food to eat tonight then they will be alright.

So my father beat me, my mother and all the sisters and he did not give us food to eat for two days then the Eid occasion was over and all guests along with my father go back to the other village, we were free now so we had very good two days but then money which we were having was over my mother who would earn money by stitching cloths was very sick due to everyday’s beating so she was not able to earn.

My seventh sister who was just a few months old and who would drink milk it was very difficult for me to see her condition, all of my sisters, I and my mother are use to live hungry sometime but she was too young to handle the hunger yet, at the time of leaving the house my father ordered me to not go out of home by any cost or he would kill me so I sent my younger sister to the grocery store to request for giving us a liter of milk on credit because we did not have money but he denied and said you already have to give me a lot of money so I cannot give you more, then I went to him myself and begged him that my sister will die if he will not give us the milk for her so he gave but said must return my money in two or three days. So we add so much water in that milk and fed to my sister but then that milk was finished so we had to give her plan water instead of milk which was so painful for me to see so finally I decided to go to Sister Zeph as she was my only hope

I went to her told the whole story and she gave me money and said take and buy some grocery for your family and milk for the baby girl so I came back home with the money gave it to my mom who bought grocery and kept some money for the milk.

Then I was afraid that when my father will come back home and he will ask me why I went out of home what I will say, he came back after 11 days he stopped talking to anybody and would not give us any money.

It was very difficult for me to read my books , I was not allowed to go to Zeph Center and I could not study at home then my mother helped me and she found a way, she started locking me in a room to show my father that she is giving me punishment for speaking in front of my uncle and did not obey him and that my father is not alone she is with him what ever he will decide she wanted to do it until he could calm down and she could win his trust to make him convinced that my decision of getting education was a correct one, so she would lock me and I would study in the locked room during his presence at home.

But then my father did a worse thing which no one was expecting

To be continued

Comments 2

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Goddi
May 17, 2016
May 17, 2016

I love reading your diary, thanks for letting me into your life :)

Stephanie Auxier
May 23, 2016
May 23, 2016

Sister Zeph,

Thank you for sharing this incredible story of Zeph Girl - I am anxiously awaiting the rest of her story. 

Zeph Girl's strength and determination is extremely inspiring. To have to overcome so much to get an education, and to face each new challenge with courage.

This story really highlights so many issues, and how urgently, desperately we need for a solution. You can clearly see how detrimental a belief that women and girls are not as valuable as men and boys is - from her mother being cast out of her house, to the young baby girls not being fed, to not receiving needed medical treatment, to marriage at such a young age, to the physical beatings, to being denied an education. Even her father suffers because of this belief - his daughters can't help him by getting a job, and his family doesn't support him first because he has daughters instead of sons, and then because he allows his daughter to go to school. The belief that women and girls are not as valuable has such detrimental affects on every single person in our communities, men or women, when we deny half of the population education, employment, freedom from violence, and ability to make choices about their lives. 

And of course Zeph Girl's story also highlights how important the work that you do is. Your strength and courage show no bounds. Reading each of the first 5 parts of this story I am just in awe at all of the ways you touch the girls' lives - going against social norms, talking to their parents, putting yourself at risk, supporting them financially, and so much more. You are an inspiration, and an incredible force in these girls' lives. 

I will be eagerly awaiting the rest of this story. Thank you for sharing it with us. As tough as it is to read these heart wrenching stories, it is truly a gift to learn from you. 

Warmly,

Stephanie