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I want to report the unreported and give voice to the silenced!

Before coming to AUW for my studies, my mother told me, “Do whatever you want to do, I will support you as long as you learn something useful, but never join any dance club or class.” She told me so because she knew that I love dance and if there was any club I would surely join that. She thought that it was the first and most important thing she had to tell me as a mother living in Afghan society and I am sure if she knew about karate, basketball, badminton and other physical sports offered at university, she would have said nothing different. However, when I came here, I eased the ice of these thoughts by making her sure that dance and sports in itself is education and that there is nothing wrong with it. Now she thinks differently and what she says is that “I pray for you to be successful in achieving your dreams” and what my dream is doesn’t matter because it doesn’t seem wrong to her anymore.
When I came here I hoped my mother will accept what I want to do and now that she has accepted, I hope to bring this acceptance to every girl’s family in my entire community. I hope one day everyone like me have the permission and support for doing anything they want. It was the voice of my dreams that my mother came to know and so eased idea down in her mind. I gave voice to my silenced dream and I everyone else to get this voice. If I, as an Afghan woman, want to bring positive changes in Afghanistan, specially related to women, I should know how to speak for myself and be able to move on. Thus, I can help them speak for themselves and their visions and help them raise their voice which otherwise under the shadow of disappointment would be weakening day by day.
The first and most important thing that I hope to bring changes in is peoples’ perspective that doesn’t allow them to think about what women can do. Most people think women should not go outside and participate in works that are not under their families’ control. These basically include getting education, specially and strongly they do not agree with physical education for women. They want to control women and if women are controlled it means their children are also controlled. It continues the same generation over and over again without a change. However, if women can break these cages of control and talk for themselves, at least there is knowledge about what she wants.
For this it is important that every barrier in front of them be known and so reported. If we don’t have the knowledge about a problem, we can’t tackle it. The same goes to women in Afghanistan who are silenced and forced to hush their pains away. As a simple example, there are women who are beaten everyday by their husbands or the husband’s brothers or any other male in the family. This either weakens them by silencing them at home or if they take a step out of such place called home, they are called the ‘bad’ women who want to take their families’ names and honor down for their own desires. People don’t know what it is like to be a woman and what they face and it can be known if it is said. Many important things that have a key role in changing women’s condition and lives go unreported and unsaid, and that’s why they are unsolved.
I threw away the silence and raised my voice to talk for me. I want to help any other person like me to throw away the silence they are gifted usually from their society, and get a tool that can at least make their dreams known, their voice. For this, I myself need to be a voice.


Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

Thank You, Rabia

Dear Rabia,

Thank you for sharing your vision for a better world. Your writing is strong and intelligent, and you are clearly well-informed and passionate. Your voice is strong and the information you impart is very valuable in opening the eyes of your readers.

I wish you the best and I applaud your obvious commitment to positive change and for leading others to positive change.

Keep speaking out!


- Sarah

sallyf's picture

"If I, as an Afghan woman,

"If I, as an Afghan woman, want to bring positive changes in Afghanistan, specially related to women, I should know how to speak for myself and be able to move on." "Many important things that have a key role in changing women’s condition and lives go unreported and unsaid, and that’s why they are unsolved."
Your piece really spoke to me, Rabia, thank you so much for sharing your voice, both with us AND for the sake of all those, in Afghanistan and beyond, who need the gift of this precious tool. There is a depth and awareness in your work that really drew me in. Power to your voice.

zarha.saifey's picture

YOU are a positive change!

Your presence in such a conservative society, your actions, and your words are reporting the unreported words. You are here and this is standing against the darkness.


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