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Some Ceilings/Walls Are Not Part of Shelter but Need to Be Removed

“Even if my daughter had a scholarship to America, I would not allow her go, and you are talking about Bangladesh, a very poor country even poorer than Afghanistan.” This is exactly what a well-educated member of the Ministry of Education told me, so what the uneducated people think about it is out of sight. Not only him but many other people have the same concept about the scholarships for girls. They think it is not appropriate for girls to go alone to another country only for getting education. Instead it is better and more useful for them to get married to an Afghan man living in foreign countries. Education is not what a girl should dream of.

At first a girl going abroad for getting education has to make her parents agree with her decision which is very difficult and most of the times impossible. For example, one of the most intelligent students of my class got a scholarship to India but her family did not permit her go. What the families say is that the girl has got out of control that now she wants to do such a wicked thing. Some of them suddenly make the girl’s connections to outside world limited and even do not let her take a step outside her home. As a result, only some of them continue but others stop getting education and get marriage and all their dreams die by the time they go to their husbands’ houses.

If the families agree, the relatives and neighbors try to stop them. “Oh…! How could you let your daughter go alone abroad? It was OK if it was your son but you have sent your daughter. Girls and education doesn’t go through one way. Don’t let a daughter ruin your status and make you ashamed.” One of my relatives told this to my father after I came here. These can affect the attitudes of our families and the way they think about things but it depends on how much we want to refuse these wrong ideas and try to continue. When we continue it helps all, not only us because by seeing my family who allowed me, my friend’s family might get inspired and agree. As a collective behavior other families will accept too when they see me and my friend. Therefore, if you continue or not, it doesn’t affect only your future but affects a whole society’s. If you sit quiet and make the ceiling made by others your shelter, you will get nothing but if you raise your voice and break the ceiling, you will get whatever you want.

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