Dear Readers,

From November 25 through December 10, AWWP is  joining with the global 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign.

Living in Afghanistan, I have witnessed many kinds of violence during my lifetime. Afghan men always say that they respect women more than men in Western countries. This may be true, but not within their own families. In their families, they ignore the rights of their wives and daughters. If they speak out publicly about women’s rights, this is not their real face.

Please contribute your support to women in Afghanistan. Remember Aisha, the girl whose husband cut of her nose and ears for attempting to flee abusive inlaws. But she lived. Remember Zakia Zaki, the director and owner of Afghan Radio Peace, who was shot and killed on June 6, 2007, in front of her own young son. She had criticized warlords who warned her to change her programming. And remember the twenty-five women who have been killed from domestic violence in 2011 already in Herat province. I write this poem for them.

Stop Violence Against Women

You enjoy your full rights…
Now I want to enjoy mine
I am a human
You must help me.
Stop violence against me.

Do not tell me you are weak.
You are strong enough to beat me, to blame me for being a woman
You try to buy me with your money,
Or exchange me as baad to solve an argument
This is your job: allow me to go to school,
Let me work for my community,
Permit me to choose my life partner
Stop violence against me.

This is what you must do:
When a woman reports sexual abuse to police,
Do not call it adultery; protect her and arrest the criminal
Stop the violence against her.

Forced marriage is violence,
Exchanged marriage is violence,
To be denied financial resources is violence,
Harming my emotions is violence,
Ignoring my rights is violence.

Many women are together with me
Working to stop violence in our world
When you harm women
You damage yourself and our country
Stop Violence
Stop Violence

Stop Violence.

By Seeta