“Your father had refused to talk to you until you were one-year-old because he expected you to be a boy” my mother told me a few years ago. She used to say this unintentionally, because I started to catch my father’s attention by my wittiness and sweetness as a one-year-old girl.
But my mother did not realize that later in life I would analyze this from a completely different perspective as I grow up. Although my family is one of my biggest supporters now, the confession my mother made to me, and other social limitations, violence against women, deprivation of women from freedom of choice and freedom of speech triggered me to think more and observe more in order to find the root of the problem.
First of all, I started to question my own family why my birth saddened them whereas they had celebrated, praised and cheered my elder brother’s birth? And why would my family feel happy for a male new born baby more than a female baby?
Eventually I found out that there is a wrong impression that girls are the symbol of weakness and vulnerability. Having many daughters is such a big risk which may even endangers the family’s honor in the near future they thought. This was not limited to only my family but almost the whole society has this view.
Being aware of this as a teenager, I thought that there are only two options for me; to accept everything the way they are and suffer for the rest of my life or to be an indomitable girl who not only change her own life but should do something for other women who are suffering from gender based violence and inequality.
Therefore, I have chosen to be “a victorious than a victim”. Like many other women in the world, I also have gone through hard times because of being a girl. However, I never gave up on my dreams in a society where girls themselves are the symbol of weakness. I changed all those hardships to a positive energy to move forward. And that energy has made me the person I am today.
Even though I love the friendly side and generosity of Afghan people, I want them to treat boys and girls equally and give importance to their daughters from the birth to the rest of their life. Regardless of the fact that my country Afghanistan has its dark sides, it has very nice people and beautiful places that I want international community and people from other countries to know about it, ‘Afghan hospitality’.
Last but not least, I call on all women, both; in national and international level, to get yourself out of such crippling situation, then stand for other women who are the victims of their gender identity.