Editor’s note: Sanobar is an illiterate woman with eight children in Kabul.
Kabul — Gender violence means giving more value to boys than girls and in my home this is the way it is—just as in many Afghan houses. Sometimes my daughters ask why we pay less attention to them. “They say we are your children. What is wrong? Boys can always improve themselves. There are no obstacles, but at least can’t the family care for us?”
We have no answer for them. This is not an issue I can solve myself. I will tell you the story of my own mother. When she was twelve or maybe thirteen, she was married. There was a feud between two families and she was given to the family to solve it.
My father was sixty years old at the time. The family was violent towards her. They broke my mother’s leg and hand. She is still not well after all these years. Even when my father was very old and after all the cruelty, people still told my mother to take care of him.
I can say gender violence in Afghanistan is not decreasing. It is increasing. We have seen the hangings in the gallows but no one learns from it. Just the other day we saw the three men sexually attack a three-year-old, a baby.
We cannot let our daughters or even our sons go out of the house even for school. There is no security and the economic problems make it worse. The people are wild and are not afraid of Allah. They lack humanity.
My message to Afghan women is that women are brave and should not stop fighting to stop the violence. Violence is a sin.
By Sanobar, as told to Sayara
Sanobar was interviewed as part of AWWP’s participation in the Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender Violence global campaign.