Once I walked under the warm, hot sun of summer to face the challenges of a newly divorced woman with a young son. All of my hopes lay with my son Omid. Omid means hope for a future.

I had no job at that time to make a living for me and my son, but I had the support of my parents, sisters, and brothers. I could hear people who saw me murmuring among themselves about how she is not a good woman and that is why she was divorced by her husband.

But because of my son, I did not lose my hopes or my strength. Now he is eight years old and he says to me: “My mom, I am your hope and my land’s hope. I am crazy about my land. I will try to make you and my people happy so you can be proud.”

His speeches make my heart strong. He is young but he brings dreams and hopes to our life.

Now, after many struggles, I work for an organization that seeks to motivate men and women to build the future of Afghanistan for our children who will become the future leaders of our country.

Women are a part of national policy.
Women are not for stoning to death.

Women weigh equally on the scales of justice.
The world is built by hands of men and women.

The hymns of freedom are sung by voices of women and men.
Let us join together: we are human.

By Nasima

This piece was written for International Women’s Day, March 8, 2014.