International Girl’s Day in Afghanistan

By Ayesha B.

Recently the world marked International Girls Day on October 11. On that day girls were supposedly celebrated, but by now most people have forgotten that millions of young girls continue to suffer in Afghanistan. They have no life, and no one celebrates them. They get no gifts, no thanks, no smiles or wishes. For them, October 11th was as bad as the day before or the day after, and as their whole life. That day it’s likely a girl was raped by a group of men. That day a girl likely committed suicide. That day a girl cried more than ever. That day a very young girl was forced into marriage with an old man. Or a girl made her biggest mistake. A girl went out and never come back home. Or a girl was reading a story at bedtime. A girl sang a sad song. Or lost her last toy. That day a girl died waiting for peace. A girl murdered her desires, and a girl celebrated the International Girl’s Day.

Oh! My Lord! I almost forgot about my day. That day, like every normal day, I suffered from fear of a tragic death under a Taliban whip. I thought about killing myself inside the fear of the darkest days. I felt nothing special on that day in October, not I nor other Afghan girls. I saw Taliban in their cars, staring at Afghan girls and women with angry eyes. That day no girl went to school, university, or the office for work. Yes, we are afraid of the Taliban. But we are not afraid of death. Those are quite different. Afghan girls’ lives are like hell!

The world named this day International Girls Day, but the heart of Asia was forbidden to celebrate it. Here, women are cursed for the bad luck of being female. But perhaps the next generation can see happiness and feel proud for being women. Perhaps one day they will be respected by Afghan men and live with full rights and know their true value. This can happen with the support of all women from around the world and with attention of other countries for the future of Afghan women. The world must work to assure that women are accepted as an important part of society under the government of Afghanistan.

So today, I ask for one gift from the Taliban and rest of world — the gift of important lives for the women of my country! I ask this for my downtrodden Afghan girls so that one day I can say to them Happy International Girls Day!

Writing by Afghan writers. Editor/Publisher: Nancy Antle; Editor: Pamela Hart