Afghan Women Voices Unveiled
For Afghan women, many of whom are forbidden to travel, to work or to practice agency of any kind, writing is a dangerous activity. In many territories controlled by fundamentalist-Muslim group the Taliban, a woman has no voice — no way to express herself freely without fear of physical abuse or death.
That’s why the Afghan Women’s Writing Project (AWWP) — a series of online writer’s workshops run remotely by women writers based in America — allows Afghan women a forum to express and record their experiences in poems, essays and commentary without “the filter of their men and media.”
Here is an excerpt from one of the poems written by workshop contributors:
“Under Burqa” by Seeta
My face hidden, I smile,
unseen. It is I,
Afghan woman, under burqa.
I try to be brave, show my presence.
See me; don’t see me, but I am here.
I don’t care how hot it is under burqa.
I am invisible.
I am part of my community.
I am here, Afghan woman
under Taliban burqa.