Free Women Writers: In poetry, Afghan women have found the voice of liberation

I will not submit to exhaustion.

I will not become accustomed to sadness.

My heart seeks a window for hope,

Two wings to fly, and a lifetime of freedom.

I want my hours spent awake to be as sweet as my dreams.

A woman shouldn’t have to only dream.

- Sohaila Sediqi

You can love me,

You can hate me,

But you can never ignore me,

Because I’ll never be housebound again.

- Benafsha Jahanara

“We firmly believe that uplifting women’s voices and allowing women to partake in society will change that and lead to a better world.”

Do not idolize me on high pedestals

And do not chain my luscious hair.

Do not imprison me in cages and make my life bitter

And do not place sweets at the corner of the cage.

“Not more, not less, we want equality” by Negin Badakhsh

Like Balkhi, their words will stand the test of time. Writing is resisting, says Akbar — “No matter what form of oppression we face, we will not be erased or silenced.”

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