I am Massoma from Herat, a woman who was too shy and scared in 2001 and 2002 to even leave my home. But now I go out with no fear because I have seen the development of women day by day, and year by year. Now I know that I have a role in building my society and helping Afghanistan to develop. Although I am a drop in the sea, I know how drops make up the sea and my role is an important one.
I voted in the election and I have waited five months for the results. Now you have won and I will tell you my heart’s pains and happiness and my requests as a woman and mother with hopes for her children’s futures.
My President, I suffered a lot as a refugee outside Afghanistan. I heard many taboo words there. After the fall of the Taliban I thought my mental suffering would never end. My family returned to Afghanistan and I began studying at university while wearing the burqa.
In 2005 I seized the moment and began working. My worries and problems and security challenges began to pass. I voted on the 14th of June and the signs of ink were on my finger. I ask you, now that you are in the Presidential chair, what will you do for me, and for all the daughters of Afghanistan who want to live in the modern world like others?
My President, please let women and girls attend better universities by reforming the education and higher education system to improve the quality. Please eradicate discrimination and help us take control of our rights and put into society the idea that men and women are equal.
I voted and this means that I have the right to ask you to consider the security of women and young girls so they do not have to be afraid just to go out for shopping. All women should feel safe in Afghanistan and not live in fear of men.
Please open your eyes and see why women burn themselves and look for a solution at the root of this problem. If I can’t ask you, if I can’t trust you to listen to my ideas, who can I ask?
Mr. President, I hope that my children will never see war and terror again, and that they can grow up with good morals by living in a peaceful country. I am sure future generations will expect more from the government than we did. This is a great time, my President, for you to become a hero for the next five years.
Photo by US Embassy Kabul
Powerful letter, Massoma! Direct, clear, and strong — a model for leading the charge on rights of Afghan women in the days ahead. We are with you!
Wow What a strange mentioned to president!!
As a Afghan girl I am agree with you Massoma jan.
Thank you for writing this beautiful essay!
How nice that you first took the initiative and wrote on behalf of Afghan women in Herat. I hope that the president would find time to read your words and your message as now the president has a lot to do for women and for Afghanistan after that he became a president in a weird, confusing election.