This piece was written at an AWWP workshop in Kandahar for International Women’s Day March 8, 2014.
I am a girl.
I want to be a good woman,
Complete my mother’s name,
Serve my children, my society.
I am a good woman.
A human, a mother, wife, sister,
Leader. I am the one
Who supports and promotes
Society. Respect me.
I love my mother.
We all love our mother.
The flower of the home,
She makes society.
One day, I will become
A mother too. I will know
The mother feeling well.
Educated, they respect us.
We respect each other.
Uneducated, like most here,
In my poor province,
They cannot know
the woman as a human
In the village of life.
Mother, sister, wife—
Light of the home.
Hire me as the human I am.
I can work.
I can work well.
Allah gives us all the ability.
A holy word.
She is the mother of the nation.
Each night, each day.
The mother, sister, wife, daughter,
Woman is the light of society.
Her heart is soft, kind.
She can solve problems,
Not the way a man will do.
A woman’s heart is kind.
She wants to be complete,
Give service to her children,
For the new generation—
For the success of society.
Accept me. Respect me.
Give me a chance to be me,
Not the weak person
You want me to be.
By the Kandahar Writing Group
So many strong, profound lines here. I am envious of those who were able to be with you in this room when you wrote your words and shared your wisdom. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. I hope you are read all over the world! Stacy
Stacy is right — some powerful words and sentiments here that are stunning in their simplicity. You have all done a remarkable job of showing us what you wish for your life and the lives of all women. Excellent work! Nancy
I am overwhelmed. “The village of life” — what an amazing image. Somehow, it makes the concept of the “global village” so much more real for me than ever before.
Thanks to all of you brave writers,
Each writer in this group shares words of such bravery and truth! Although women across the world come from very different places and experiences, these writers show that at our core we are all of such great value and such immense strength. These stories and poems are an inspiration, and are told with such beautiful words and imagery! Thanks to each of your for sharing this courageous writing.
Counterpart’s I-PACS works to promote the capacity of grassroots civil society organizations throughout Afghanistan.
As a result of long-standing traditions, as well as oppression under the Taliban regime, Afghan girls and young women do not receive adequate education, leaving them without any marketable skills. In rural and unstable areas, like Kandahar province, Counterpart International’s Initiative to Promote Afghan Civil Society (I-PACS) realizes the critical need for female-focused vocational skills trainings.
Recently, the Kandahar Health and Development Organization (KHDO) conducted a computer and English language training program for 70 girls and young women in Kandahar province. The program gives these young women the skills needed to increase their employability and, ultimately, their financial independence.
In April 2008, four KHDO staff members attended an I-PACS training session on proposal writing. “In this training, we learned new techniques and methodologies for writing quality proposals,” shared Ms. Farzana Ibrahimi, the Director of KHDO.
KHDO staff members put these new skills into practice when writing a proposal for their computer and English language program. They also received further I-PACS technical assistance while preparing the proposal. In the end, KHDO submitted the proposal to the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) and in June 2009, they received a $19,000 award to run the extra-curricular classes for adolescent girls.
With the grant, KHDO targets and supports female students attending Ainu High School in Kandahar city. Led by three qualified female teachers, a class of 70 girls has already completed the program and become skilled in general computer-usage, MS office package as well as basic English language skills.
KHDO reported that as a result of this course, one girl passed the entrance exam for Kabul University, and two girls were accepted into Canada’s SAIT Polytechnic two-year online management degree program.
By providing training and technical support to organizations such as KDHO, Counterpart’s I-PACS is strengthening organizations that have direct impact on the lives of Afghan girls and women and Afghan civil society as a whole.
“If these courses were offered somewhere else – not at the school – I don’t think I or other parents would feel comfortable allowing our daughters to attend. However, we are happy that they are getting this extra opportunity for learning, inside their own school, where it is safe and we know the staff,” says the father of one student.
Best Regard shogoofa najafe
Great lines regarding International Women’s Day by the young female patrons of the Lincoln Learning Center, Kandahar.
We should put our efforts in empowering and strengthening of young Afghan women. These women may develop the country and take participation in International Communities Development.
What are human rights?
Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.
Universal human rights are often expressed and guaranteed by law, in the forms of treaties, customary international law , general principles and other sources of international law. International human rights law lays down obligations of Governments to act in certain ways or to refrain from certain acts, in order to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals or groups.
Universal and inalienable
The principle of universality of human rights is the cornerstone of international human rights law. This principle, as first emphasized in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights in 1948, has been reiterated in numerous international human rights conventions, declarations, and resolutions. The 1993 Vienna World Conference on Human Rights, for example, noted that it is the duty of States to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems.
All States have ratified at least one, and 80% of States have ratified four or more, of the core human rights treaties, reflecting consent of States which creates legal obligations for them and giving concrete expression to universality. Some fundamental human rights norms enjoy universal protection by customary international law across all boundaries and civilizations.
Human rights are inalienable. They should not be taken away, except in specific situations and according to due process. For example, the right to liberty may be restricted if a person is found guilty of a crime by a court of law.
Interdependent and indivisible
All human rights are indivisible, whether they are civil and political rights, such as the right to life, equality before the law and freedom of expression; economic, social and cultural rights, such as the rights to work, social security and education , or collective rights, such as the rights to development and self-determination, are indivisible, interrelated and interdependent. The improvement of one right facilitates advancement of the others. Likewise, the deprivation of one right adversely affects the others.
Equal and non-discriminatory
Non-discrimination is a cross-cutting principle in international human rights law. The principle is present in all the major human rights treaties and provides the central theme of some of international human rights conventions such as the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
The principle applies to everyone in relation to all human rights and freedoms and it prohibits discrimination on the basis of a list of non-exhaustive categories such as sex, race, colour and so on. The principle of non-discrimination is complemented by the principle of equality, as stated in Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”
Both Rights and Obligations
Human rights entail both rights and obligations. States assume obligations and duties under international law to respect, to protect and to fulfil human rights. The obligation to respect means that States must refrain from interfering with or curtailing the enjoyment of human rights. The obligation to protect requires States to protect individuals and groups against human rights abuses. The obligation to fulfill means that States must take positive action to facilitate the enjoyment of basic human rights. At the individual level, while we are entitled our human rights, we should also respect the human rights of others.
Fatima mohammadi 1393/9/22