Editor’s note: Sadiqa is a student.

Kandahar — My name is Sadiqa and I am not satisfied with what has been done about gender violence against women. The government is not showing a sense of urgency that we’d like to see. Boys are still more valued than girls.

My friend Shahida was a victim of violence. She was bleeding from the anal area and she told her mother over and over again about it, but her mom was too afraid to tell her husband or sons because of the shame, so she did not go to the doctor. Shahida died young because no one helped her. Had she been a boy, she would have immediately gotten medical treatment.

What we lack is a strong official voice to counter the opponents of gender equality, those reactionary voices. It is very difficult to fight for progress, and the government is not making it a priority. We look in vain for a strong government policy.

We women and victims need to have community social organizations and networks to stop violence. We need education on a community level and pilot projects and help from the new government and international aid agencies.

Recently there has been heavy pressure on the fragile gains made after the Taliban’s fall from power. I hope our new government will come up with some solutions for the women of Afghanistan.

By Sadiqa, as told to Safia

Sadiqa was interviewed for AWWP’s Oral Stories Project as part of our Gender Violence campaign.