Three Inspirational Poems by Afghan Women


Afghan woman smiling
Sh. Rasouli

I am a girl with a world of dreams,
Brimful with the pure feeling of life.
I am a girl with a backpack of eaten words
And seconds overwhelmed with chaos.
I am a girl. Let me think about the good days.
I am a girl. Let me breathe.

Afghan women traditional afghan scarf

N. Wali

I have remained under your fists and kicks for years
But I will never break.
I am a woman, harder than diamonds
And no burqas will hide me.
Why should I cover for your honor?
“What does a woman have to say?” you told me.
You told me to be silent,
But you didn’t know:
Even my silence is a thunderous roar.


Shabana Stanekzai

The white dress was an imposed gift.
Tight and painful
Neither does it attach to me body
Nor does it leave my embrace.
The dress- to be replaced with a coffin-
Is an unwanted gift from my father.
Alas, customs don’t tolerate my naked wounds.
I will take the pain
For one day
It might be torn off my body.

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Click to read My Silence, The Good Days, and White Dress in Persian.

Feature image by Zahra W.

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Daughters of Rabia is a collection of Afghan women's writings in defense of their human rights. The book was published by two Afghan activists, Noorjahan Akbar and Batul Muradi, in 2013. Following the book's success and distribution in six provinces in Afghanistan, Noorjahan Akbar created the Free Women Writers blog to continue publishing women's writings in Persian, Pashtu and Uzbeki. Since then, the blog has expanded to include hundreds of articles, poems, narratives, essays and paintings about gender equality, environmental concerns, economic inequality, democracy and other social justice issues. With a weekly readership of more than thirty thousand, the blog has reached tens of thousands of Afghans. This website is the English translation of these writings. Read the Persian book here: