Solving the gender violence problem is a big challenge for the people of our country, and at the same time we have thousands of other problems also facing our people.

When I think of gender and violence, I think of the main challenges for Afghanistan: civil war and attacks that could come in the future. Economic issues—illiteracy and poverty and unemployment. And corruption.

To eliminate violence we need to provide opportunities and solutions. First of all we need peace in our country to eliminate violence. Then we must implement the rule of law as a basic right. We must place educated and professional people in key posts so we can decrease corruption. We must provide jobs for people. And finally, we need commitments from neighboring countries that they will not interfere in Afghanistan’s business. 

How can we trust and believe that Afghanistan, with all of these challenges highlighted above, will never face violence against women? In our rural areas, 99 percent of women are illiterate and poor. They are not aware of their rights or what role they could occupy in our society. 

There is a proverb that says women are like a piece of cloth. The parents put a price on their daughters the same way they price a piece of material for sale. 

But it is our role and responsibility not to blame one another. I have had this experience while attending meetings and workshops. People blame the government and our government blames people. 

However, if we give our hands to each other in unity, not blame, but trust and believe in each other, and if we do not depend too much on donors and funding, then I believe one day we will decrease the amount of violence in our country. Violence is a global problem and does not only belong to our country, and I hope one day we will never hear sad stories of violence.

By Mariam