Hamida, 40, lives with her family in in Herat. She is illiterate. This is her story.

Herat:— I don’t know the exact meanings of gender discrimination but I know I have seen a lot of it in my country and in my family. I am a mother and I want to support my daughters, but my husband is more powerful than me and at every opportunity he gives them more, whether money or freedom.

I can tell you my own story. When I was small and went to mosque with my brothers, my teacher said to my father that I had more intelligence than his sons. I wanted to go to school and become a doctor for my village because when I was young I saw my mother die in front of me. There was no female doctor to come during her baby’s delivery. My father would not allow a man to rescue her and operate.

I decided that day I would be a doctor. It was only a dream because when my mother died, my father married again. My stepmother did not like me so my father decided I should marry. Now I have one son and three daughters. I love my daughters. I stand in front of my husband and I tell him, “Do whatever you want, but I just want one thing from you. Let my daughters go to school and study.” Now my only wish is to see my daughter be a doctor.

In Afghanistan I can see day-by-day people are improving and have a more positive mindset compared with ten years ago. We can see those same dark-minded families let their daughters go to school. In some families we still witness problems, but we should be thankful of the ways the media is broadcasting people’s problems. Showing the gallows where those who do violence on women are hanged can have a positive impact on society.

I have faced many problems in society like not being allowed to go out of my home and go to work to support my family. To stop violence, I start in my family and talk to my husband. Our brave young women who are allowed to go out to work can help other women. They can help illiterate women and raise our voice and bring awareness.

By Hamida, as told to Leeda

Hamida was interviewed by Leeda as part of AWWP’s Oral Story Project on Gender Violence 2014.