Who am I?
I am the creature who at the time of being born, while crying for the first time, I heard, “Oh the wretch, why the girl? Why didn’t she give birth to the boy?”
I am the one who was always denied the love of her parents. I am the one who is not allowed to go to school because they say, “Just boys get education. The boy can be the ‘power of his father’s shoulder.’” So I with the starving stomach and bare feet walk on the streets, a vagabond, to find food.
Oh, yes who am I?
I am the creature that while young was sold for money. I am the creature who is given to a family as a slave to pay for the crime of my brother.
I am the one who has to get beaten or go to jail. From hungriness I eat grass and from thirstiness I drink the blood of my head that was hurt in the beating. They pull off my nails and stone me, burn me, sometimes they cut me with the knife.
I am the sacrifice of my culture and have to suffer. But how long, ’til which time? I am tired.
Yes, who am I?
Sometimes because of my crime of giving birth to a girl—they kill me. “A wretch! Again a girl!” These are the words I heard for my whole life.
Sometimes I pray to God that I will get free, free from the culture, and I will get to be respected as a human being.
Will I get to be loved?
But then I hear the harsh sound of the society that says:
You are an unfortunate woman
You will never get your freedom.
You are criminal and your crime is that you are a girl.
You are woman and you must accept all of this.
You have to suffer.
Yes, I am woman and a wretched creature.
By Leena G.
Photo: Farzana Wahidy