My name is Shazia and I was born in Kabul. I have five sisters and six brothers and it’s been five years since I got married. I am twenty-six and I have four children.
My children are too young for school: my eldest child is five years old. But would I let them go to school when they are seven? Yes, I would.
I am not educated because there were Taliban here and we couldn’t go to school.
We faced Taliban and poverty. I wanted to be literate and feed my children. It’s very good to be enlightened. We would have a better life than we have today. I would wish for every girl to go to school and have a good place in the society.
We have faced many problems. I don’t want other girls and my children to experience these same hardships. It’s been four months that we haven’t paid the house rent. My husband is not educated and he can hardly find a job. It’s been five years that my husband is jobless. Sometimes he finds a job and sometimes not. Most of the time other people help us.
My brother-in-law and mother-in-law were not good. My mother-in-law kicked us out of her house. So afterwards we rented a house and now we can’t pay for it.
We have neither our own house to live in, nor do we have enough food to eat.
By Shazia, as told to Maryam Y.
I hope that Shazia will have the opportunity to learn to read and write someday — and that her children will as well. She clearly values education but it is hard to think of that when you are struggling to have a place to live and enough food to eat. This is a powerful reminder of what the women — and sometimes the men — endure in their country.
You have a hard life to live. I hope you do not have more children as they too will have a hard time. You can ask a doctor how not to get pregnant and let other women in hardship know as well.