Dear Readers,

The Afghan Women’s Writing Project is pleased to join the 2017 Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, the international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls. The campaign runs from Nov. 25 through International Human Rights Day on Dec. 10. This year, the campaign’s theme is “Leave No One Behind: End Violence against Women and Girls”.

In this section we present to you the published writing by dozens of our writers about violence against women in Afghanistan over the last five years.

Read My Heart Hurts by S Anonymous, a young working woman and student who writes on behalf of the many Afghan women whose voices are not heard. With the 2015 stoning of young Rukhshana in northern Afghanistan and the mob beating death of Farkhunda that year in Kabul, she had plenty of evidence to make her case for the dismal plight of women.

Shekiba’s It Is a Frightening Life in a Patriarchal Society” observes how “in my country, men can cut the noses and ears off their wives and go without punishment.”

In For Rukhshana!, Pari offers her interpretation of the unthinkable stoning sentence issued by the religious mullahs in northern Afghanistan. Videos surfaced of the 2015 stoning, leading to a tremendous public outcry.

Writes Pari:
The mullahs in the mosques
Committing sexual abuse in the corners
Blame their sins and faults on you
We watch those mullahs
We hear
Your screams Rukhshana

Writing has been edited for clarity and length.
Susan Postlewaite, Editor-in-Chief

  1. My Heart Hurts, by S Anonymous
  2. It Is a Frightening Life Living in a Violent Patriarchal Society, by Shekiba
  3. For Rukhshana! by Pari
  4. Educating Afghan Girls Who Dream Big Dreams, by Fahima
  5. The Short Life of Khadija Who Was Forced to Marry, by Sveto
  6. Many Sides to Gender Violence in Afghanistan, by Shogofa Az.
  7. No Honor in Honor Killing, by Marzia
  8. Girls Walking Home, by Sumaia
  9. Welcome My Baby, by Manizha
  10. For Rukhshana, by Shekiba
  11. We Are Human, by S Anonymous
  12. Seized Birds, by Sitara
  13. Four Brothers Sell Their Sister for $20,000, by Leeda
  14. Change for Mariam, Change for Women, by Fariba H.
  15. My Tired Voice Grows Loud, by Shala

Please click these links for AWWP’s earlier contributions to the 16 Days campaign.
2014 | 2013 | 2012

Photo: Eric Kanalstein / UNAMA