A Poem by Sharifa Ahmadi

Hello Men
Some of you say earth is your home
And around the world problems are caused by women
Problems that mean violence

You don’t want women
To remove their veils or wear short skirts or pants

You don’t want women
Going to school or working outside the home
You get upset when women
Don’t obey your orders or don’t accept your opinions

Dear Men
It’s so sad that you won’t consider women
As part of this beautiful earth
How can you call yourself human?
You who create darkness for women

Men why do you believe
You are the only ones to make decisions and give orders?
Who gives you more power than women — only ignorance or religion
That’s not the answer and you know it

Hello men, you beautiful creatures of God,
let’s make this earth
a heaven for you and for me
For women and men

Let’s have inner peace
Because life is passing, why not be fruitful?

In every religion and constitution
There must be equality and rights for both of us
Let’s support each other
So earth can be a beautiful place
For women and men

About the Author: Sharifa Ahmadi is from Bamyan, Afghanistan and has worked as a teacher for Jesuit Refugee Services. She recently graduated with her MS in Mathematics from a university in India. She wants to raise her voice through her writing on behalf of women who live in many difficult places.

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