Parween is 40 years old and lives in the Share Naw area in Kabul where she works by cleaning people’s houses.
Kabul— I work as a cleaner and when I don’t have a cleaning job, I stay at home with my children. We are sometimes hungry. We have eight children to feed. My eldest son is married. One son is engaged, but I don’t have money to pay a dowry for a wife. My two daughters are married.
I was very young when I got married and at that time my husband oppressed me. My mother-in-law and father-in-law were nice people, but my husband had violent behavior with me. Now he has become kind. But we have a lot of financial problems. It has been two months since I paid our rent.
My husband helps his family financially as much as he can. One of my sisters-in-law lost her husband, so she then was married to her brother-in-law. She had two children, one daughter and a son who was killed.
My husband’s nephew was also killed and he left three children with no father. We try to help and support each other.
I don’t know what my rights are or where to go to obtain that information. No one told me about that. I expect human rights will give the poor people their rights.
Human rights provide all the opportunities to men. Most women do not have jobs. No one cares about this.
I don’t want to fight for rights because my life has passed. I don’t have the ability to fight. I am too old now, but I want my children to struggle and obtain their rights. I want them to be educated.
By Parween as told to Humira
Photo: Canada in Afghanistan/Zakarya Gulistani
Again, thank you for telling us the life story of Parween. What strikes me most about this story is that at 40 years old she believes that her life has passed by already. She has no energy or will to fight for her rights. Like her, I hope that her children take up the struggle and are able to build better lives. “Keep hope alive” that’s what we tell ourselves in the U.S. when the struggle is difficult and the injustice overwhelming. Keep hope alive.