Afifa, a 26-year-old Afghani woman who recently made it to America from the Bamyan Province in her native country feels an overwhelming sense of “safety” to be in the United States. In this video interview, Afifa expresses her amazement and appreciation of the fact that “they [the U.S. military] are risking their lives to save us!”
In the male dominated country of her birth, Afifa discusses the reality of living with absolutely no fundamental rights for women. Instead, most women have no awareness of any other way to live. They cannot travel without a male escort and are viewed as chattel to sell, trade or abuse. Saying this phenomenon is not rare anymore, Afifa spoke of a 12-year-old girl who was married to a 65-year-old man as a normal arrangement in her country.
Women are jailed, abused and even killed by their own family if they bring shame on them by not abiding by strict Islamic rules. Afifa explains how “the honor of your family name is so important,” that honor killings, where a father, brother or uncle will kill their own female family member for marrying outside the faith or shaming the family, is a risk Afghani women take for granted.
Compared to the stark contrast with her culture, American women should appreciate their rights, she says. Speaking to American women, Afifa says, “You have great opportunities for yourself and your loved ones. You’re so lucky, so do as much as you can.”
Afifa wants to receive a great education and experience in the U.S. before she hopes to returns to an Afghanistan that is safer for women.
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