Because I am a Woman

When I open my eyes to this world, everyone turns sad.
When they learn my gender, people say oh my God.
When I am small and need my father’s love and kindness, he turns his back on me, giving all his love to his sons instead.
When I speak loudly, everyone tells me “speak softly, it is a shame you are a girl, a girl should speak quietly.”
When I go to the masjeed (mosque), I am told not to look other places, just go straight there and return.
When I am ready to attend school, no one allows me.
When I become sick, no one cares for me.
When I need something or want something, I can’t get it, even if it costs little.
When they want me to marry, they give me no choice and will not hear me.
When I want to defend my rights, they beat me, or kill me.
When I am pregnant, no taking care of me.
When someone asks the father of my children about them, he will not speak his daughters’ names, for fear of bringing shame, and has no pride in them.
When I bear daughters, more than two or three, they try to name my baby Bas bi bi, which means stop bringing girls.
When I bear more daughters, they beat me and marry another woman, and think the fault is mine alone.
When I bear a son, they feed him but I am left uncared for.

You know why?
Because
I am a woman.

Just a woman.
That is my mistake.
Just being a woman.

By Freshta

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4 responses to “Because I am a Woman

  1. Freshta — I love this poem and while all of what you say is true you could only write a poem that beautiful BECAUSE YOU ARE A WOMAN! Thank you for sharing this with me.

  2. It’s beautifully written… yet describing a cruel, cruel situation for Afghan women and girls. I’m so sorry and the knowledge you give me through your writing is so important- for me and for all who is reading it.

  3. This is a beautifully written poem, Freshta, that gives a voice to abused women not only in Afghanistan but everywhere. Impressive work.

  4. nice poems blog! Wishing you a Merry Christmas 2009

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