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The definition of Security

Security? I don’t know how to define security, but I can explain lack of security. I experienced it whole my life, especially when I was in Afghanistan. Lack of security is when you don’t know what will happen tomorrow, or the next few minutes. When a father gets out of the house and heads to work every morning, which seems natural, but every morning the children are not sure whether they meet their father again or not. Living in a country where suicide attacks occur every now and then, where news are spread that Taliban are revitalizing and regaining their power, nothing is safe and secure; nobody invests there with full potential because nobody is sure what is going to happen tomorrow: will Taliban be back, will government share the power with them, and will Afghanistan be dark and lifeless again? Yet people seem to lead a normal life among police forces with guns guarding the squares and intersections, military tanks marching the streets, and barbed wires protecting important buildings. However, inside their hearts, nobody is certain about the future of their life, of their jobs, or of their country.
For a woman, lack of security is more tangible. It is not only the political instability that degenerate her confidence about the future, but also the society’s doubtful trust or even indignant attitude toward her social progress, financial independency, or political activities. If a woman wants to live freely and raise her voice to get her rights, the fear of being harassed, raped, or killed is something she should struggle with in order to gain the social acceptance of a patriarchal and conservative Afghan society.
Living most of my life as a refugee, I experienced the lack of certainty and security about my future. I was away from Afghanistan, deprived of many citizen rights in the country I was living as the refugee. I was always confused what my future will be like with a country that never was free of wars and conflicts. When the war ended, it was time for suicide attacks that stole the hopes of a tired nation from enjoying a secure future for Afghanistan, a secure future that could bring prosperity, joy, and brightness.
Later, when I came to Afghanistan, I was told not to laugh loudly, not to stay out after sunset, not to travel alone, not to attract attentions. The society told me if I wanted to live a normal life in Afghanistan, I had to follow the social norms. But those norms told me to cover myself under burka, to cover my thoughts and my fillings, and just to breathe in and out. How could that be called a life? So, I prefer to live with the fear of an unsecure life, but to live, to speak my heart, to shout my existence, and to fight for an equal life. I know nothing could be predicted about tomorrow of Afghanistan, but I am happy that I have been given the chance to get educated at AUW, to discover the internal and external world, and to realize that I am a woman who lives today, but for a better and brighter tomorrow.
I support women networking activities, like what is happening at the World Pulse. I feel more secure when I see myself among the women and men with whom I share the same goal, raising our voice to empower women, to empower human societies, and to move toward a safer, more equal world.

Comments

Daniela I's picture

Your voice is important

Thank you, Masooma, for sharing your courage with us. I will try to be thankful every time I have the opportunity to laugh out loud, travel, and stay out after sunset, while supporting the work of people like yourself and hoping that all women will have the ability to enjoy these freedoms.

Dear Danielai,
Thanks for your comment. I am happy for you and for all the women who live freely and enjoy living in a safe and secure environment. I feel much more freedom here at AUW too, and I wish all Afghan women could enjoy it as well. It's very sad that a woman, just for the reason she is a woman, has to face unreasonable restrictionas and limitations like a bird in a cage. And any women who wants to raise her voice to support women's rights, first should risk her safety becasue there many men out there who are ready to do anything to shut her up, if she is an activist she will become a target in the list of Taliban or warlords. When I think about myself as an activist in Afghanistan, it seems a little scary but again when I see brave Afghan women like Sima Samar or Malalai Joya working at the heart of this unsafe and unsecure atmosphere to improve women's condition, I feel determind to move forward.

manisha's picture

Dear Masooma, Afganistan

Dear Masooma,
Afganistan needs women like you who have courage and desire to change the world for a better life of all women living there. You are their hope. Keep faith.

Regards
Manisha

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