Being born in one of the undeveloped countries in the horn of Africa whereby women are subordinate in the society and men dominates them, a country whereby women/girls are believed to remain at home and do the house chores like cleaning, fetching water, cooking food and washing the family’s clothes including their brothers. A country whereby girls are not sent to school to learn believing that they don’t deserve that chance by reasoning they will be married with strangers and leave home. A country whereby girls are forced to marry strangers they don’t know especially at the early age and can’t comment on the issue.

Despite all that, my lovely parent took good care of me and my siblings, by sending us to schools and madrasa (a place to learn Quran) to learn, on top of that I remember when civil war erupted in my country we were in the capital city of the country whereby women and men have been killed without discriminating, even infants have been raped or killed, but do you know what my dad used to do? He used to go out to fetch water and buy food for us from the market, he used to tell my mom not to leave us neither help him outside the house telling her moms can take good care for their kids better than dads and if he dies she will still be there to look after us.

Despite all that difficulties and civil war, my lovely parents used to teach us at night in our home, there wasn’t electricity and even if it were there everyone was scared and couldn’t switch on the light but they used to make us busy by teaching us instead of thinking what is going on outside, they became my first teachers, they never stopped teaching me. Emigrating from that horror town they still didn’t stop teaching me, they kept encouraging me all the time telling me education is the best way to survive, many thanks to Allah I finished high school with grade A actually been the only girl with grade A in the whole state I won a scholarship and went to study in Kenya but still never stopped encouraging me neither got tired.

They always believed that boys and girls should get equal rights and opportunities, they believed that ladies have the same power to change the world in to a better place as that of the boys, they believed that ladies have the rights to say NO for whatever doesn’t please them, they never stopped educating me and my siblings, never forced us to get married telling us it is our rights to choose the one we want, they never discriminated boys from girls.

My heroes are my parents who never thought of me as a burden, my heroes are my parents who never stopped supporting me, my heroes are my parents who stood beside me all the time, my heroes are my parents who inspired me all the time, my heroes are my parents who never discriminated us as most of the society does, my heroes are my parents who taught me despite all that difficulties, my heroes are my parents who still inspire me.

I can’t say that the gender bias has been totally disappeared from my society neither there is equal rights and opportunities for both men and women, but seems that it’s getting better than before and people have started realizing what they used to do wasn’t right.

Take action! This post was submitted in response to International Women's Day 2011: A Call for Heroes.