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Yes, We Stood Up at the Right Moment!

Even the snow beneath our feet was trying to stop us when my sister and I were walking toward our aim, leaving our mother worried about us. It was freezing on the morning of 15th April 2009, and all the way there we were thinking calmly about what was going to happen. That day we wanted to protest; protest for what we were risking our lives and honor. It was almost 9 A.M. when we arrived at Khatam-un-Nabiyeen, a religious university in Kabul, Afghanistan, led by Sheikh Asif Mohsini, a controversial politician who created the law. We wanted to stand up against the law that caused the rape of many girls which could also happen to any of us tomorrow. The words that I can never forget were not only printed on the papers but also on my mind. One part of the law was that women should fulfill their husbands’ sexual desires whenever their husbands wanted them to. Another one was that if a man rapes a girl, he can compensate by giving some money to the girl’s family. In addition, there were many other laws which completely ignored women’s rights.

We blocked the road by standing and holding the posters on each side of the road and started to move slowly toward parliament. Suddenly from the other gate of the university a crowd of both men and women came out to oppose us, which made me surprised and also feel a deep pain. It was not that much painful that the law was created all against women, but it was painful that lots of the people who were agreeing with the law were women themselves. The opponents started throwing stones at us, and my sister was hit on her forehead, which hurt her so badly that we had to hide it from our father for many days. If government forces didn’t come on time, seeing those wild men, I didn’t know what would happen to us. However, another group of them attacked on our school that caused it to be closed for a long time. We were able to get to parliament which resulted in the repealing of the law after many days. We stood up and got what we wanted, and today I am proud of myself and my friends for what we did for our mothers, sisters, daughters, and ourselves.


Nusrat Ara's picture

Way to go. Don't lose hope

Way to go. Don't lose hope and faith.



Deepti's picture

Nice to see you here, sis!

Nice to see you here, sis! You sure stood up at the right moment because you won - and that's why you won.

Best wishes,

manisha's picture

Dear Rabia,I think you are

Dear Rabia,

I think you are too brave and I am really proud of you. You not only stand for rights of women in Afganistan but all over the world. Keep it up. God is wid you.


rabia.salihi's picture

: ) Thank You...

Thank You all for encouraging me…I appretiate what you say…: )


nkinyanjui's picture

Rabia, that's amazing. I am

Rabia, that's amazing. I am not sure i (or many others like me) have that much courage to go to the streets to demonstrate, especially knowing what severe consequences could be. Its fantastic that you got there and achieved what you needed to without any harm coming your way. It takes a different kind of person to stand up for such an issue without worrying what others will think of you. Keep the spirit!

Cathy M's picture

Your story is incredible.

Your story is incredible. Your courage is inspiring, especially to those of us who who may still fear the act of protesting around issues that do not even pose nearly as grave a risk as you bravely took part of. You changed laws, just as we all can.

Beverly Rose's picture

Dear Rabia, You described

Dear Rabia,

You described yourself as "a bird flying everywhere freely even though there are lots of hunters beneath my feet". How beautiful is that? And so descriptive of your courage. As someone who has protested various issues for 40+ years, I never faced the extreme risk that you (and your sister) did. Thank you for sharing your inspiring story of standing up. Thank you for helping make this world a better, safer, more peaceful world for our sisters. Reading stories like yours I know anything is possible.

in peace,

Kagwii's picture

Thank you

Thank you Rabia for sharing your inspiring story, indeed change is within our reach if we dare stand to be counted. Your story reminds me of the protests in Kenya during the struggle for a new constitution that guarantees human rights to everyone and the sexual offences acts. Both have been such sweet victories for me because they now safeguard women's well being. Keep up the good work and all the best

Nusrat Ara's picture

Congrats Rabia.

Congrats Rabia.


rabia.salihi's picture


Thank you : )


Rashmila Prajapati's picture

Congrats ....

Dear Rabia

Congrats and salute for your stand.


Kathmandu, Nepal

rabia.salihi's picture

Together our stands is the change

Dear Rashmila,
Thank you so much for your encouraging words. Yes, together our stands can bring the change and be the change.
Wishing the best,


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