Having choices is something I have been banging on about for years, as is evident by the roll of my daughter’s eyes that says “here we go again” when I mention it.
I was reminded again about how important it is this week, especially as a female. I managed to catch part of the movie / documentary “Girl Rising” and watched the story of a girl from Afghanistan who was forced to marry and had a baby when she too was really a baby herself. Her parents sold her to her new husband for the equivalent of around $5,000 with which they promptly brought her brother a car. She was forbidden to go to school but at the risk of being punished with violence or even death, she defied the rules and kept going. She believes she is the start of a movement and even if they kill her, if girls keep on going to school they can’t kill them all. Even when she doesn’t seem to have a choice she is making one. One very brave young girl.
There is hope however. I read a book recently about an Afghan girl who’s father not only celebrated that she was born, something usually saved only for boys, but made sure she got an education. Sadly her father disappeared and is assumed murdered, so she became at the mercy of less understanding relatives.
I can’t imagine living in a world where me or my daughter could not live the life we choose. We certainly live in a judgemental society at times, but all we usually face if we make decisions outside the “acceptable” is just that, judgement. I was able to end an unhappy marriage without fear of having acid thrown on me in the guise of protecting the family honour. I was could purchase a home and raise children as a single mother without worrying about our safety or being disowned by my family, even the ones who did not agree with what I was doing.
It is unthinkable that just because of the geographical location that I was lucky enough to be born in, I can be writing this, whilst somewhere else I might be tortured for having an opinion and doing the same. I hear stories of young girls being taken overseas to participate in arranged marriages. That may be even more devastating for the girl because she will have seen school mates and other girls her age being able to choose their futures. This shows how much more education is needed all over the world, and I don’t just mean maths and science type.
Every now and then if a little pity party comes my way, I remind myself that I have choices and am grateful that I am free to make them. And I choose to live my life on my terms.
Til next time…