Rahima is from a poor family in Herat Province. When she was two years old she became unable to lift one of her feet. She has seven sisters, two brothers, and kind parents.
Rahima, who is twenty-two, tells a visitor: “Disability is not an obstacle in my life; I will reach my entire wish despite my disability.”
Her mother, Malalai, said she does not know what caused her daughter’s foot problem. “I did not have her vaccinated when she was a baby because there was no opportunity to do that. When she first became unable to walk, I took her to some local women who claimed that they knew how to fix some health problems. But every day her foot became worse.”
So Rahima grew up with a disabled foot. She was not able to walk like other girls, but she attended school up to eighth grade. She also attended sewing classes put on by international agencies in Farah and learned how to sew clothes. She became a tailor.
Her life changed when Red Crescent provided an opportunity for treatment of her foot. Her foot is now straighter, but she still requires medication and cannot walk normally. “I was very glad and I felt like I was in the sky,” she said.
Every day Rahima visits with about six other women to get orders for clothes. Everyone wants her to make their clothes.
“I make clothes for 100 Afs ($2 US) and each day I can make $10 US. I can support my family and pay for my own needs. I do not need to ask for money from anyone.”
She is optimistic for the future of Afghanistan. She thinks the coming elections are important and she plans to vote. She hopes that the new government of Afghanistan will pay more attention to the disabled people and a secure environment will be provided for them.
By Rahima as told to Lida
Thank you so much for interviewing Rahima and sharing her story with the world. Please continue to bring the voices of women to the world who are unable to do so themselves.
Dear Rahima and Lida,
I am very much enjoying reading about skilled, working women. It is wonderful to hear such stories of opportunity and pride. I wish Afghani clothes were available online! Thank you for sharing these stories,
You are an inspiration! I loved your comment “Disability is not an obstacle in your life”. It is important to vote, women need a say in this world.
Hi, thank you sharing your story of your inspirational life. The fact that you are so positive despite your disability inspires me, and I cannot wait to tell my friends about you! You are such an optimist and some day I wish to be like you and live my life happily.
Keep in mind that you are an inspiration to me, and keep on doing what you love.
I think this is a great message that would empower many women around the world to not give up.