If loud laughs and talk are bad for a girl,
I will keep laughing, loudly.
No matter what people think,
I will wear what I wish.
No matter how people scold and whisper,
I will raise my voice against violence and inequality—
No matter if I lose my life in this way
I will show people my power and ability,
and never, ever stop, until we end the pent-up
frustration caused by those who think women are only
good for staying home
and giving birth.
I am confident my unprecedented steps
will change minds
and give me respect as a human one day;
one day is today,
today gives me momentum to move on
and free myself from barriers
standing against our rights
in the name of religion.
Today, we are not alone;
the world hears our voices.
Today, more than one million girls
are going to schools and universities.
Today, they are ready to fight for their rights,
to study, to work, to pick their own partner
and make life’s decisions.
No matter what challenges I face,
I will fight, until I get my rights;
I will seek, until I reach my goals,
No matter what obstacles I encounter.
I will break all barriers ahead.
I will keep moving in my own way.
No matter how people judge me.
By Sitara B.
Photo: Melanie Freeman / Christian Science Monitor