Whenever people talk about gender-based violence in Afghanistan, they mostly think it is only about girls. At some point I have come to the same conclusion because 90 percent of the violence in Afghanistan is against a girl.

It makes me sad when I think about the girls living in the villages. They are not allowed to go to school. They are treated only as a tool to be used by men, the way the men want them used. It makes me sad when I remember the girls getting married at age 13 in my village. They knew nothing about what is marriage, but they looked happy for being given a new set of clothing. It makes me think how that girl could be me, or my sister. It is frustrating to see them beaten up in their husband’s family after a while.

Our society thinks girls are either for housework or for the grave to die. This fact bothers me every moment. Why girls? Why not men? That is what our gender means to our society.

By Leena G.