Tuesday

American Women Prefer Girl Babies


It Seems American women think baby girls are priceless and will go to extremes to have girl babies while the other half of the world thinks they are worthless. Couldn't me just swap babies?

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2012/09/sex_selection_in_babies_through_pgd_americans_are_paying_to_have_daughters_rather_than_sons_.html



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Wednesday

Sheree has shared a Huffington Post article with you

Great article about a poor Chinese woman saving babies left to die in the street!

Article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/30/lou-xiaoying-88-year-old-saved-30-babies_n_1719831.html



Sent by Sheree

A Male Math Teacher in India is Standing up for Baby Girls!


Sunil Jaglan's village lies in the heart of Haryana's Jind district - an area notorious for honour killings and it's low sex ratio. He says he realised just how bad things were for women when his own daughter Nandini was born 6 months ago.

"When Nandini was born, I took sweets for every one and I was surprised when not just village women but even educated friends wondered why I was distributing sweets for a girl. I felt very bad," Jaglan says.
It was then that it became clear to him that to fight female foeticide he would have to get women on his side. He reasoned, he argued, he fought and continues to fight. All in the hope that little Nandini grows up in an equal society where women have a right to choice as much as anyone else.

Read the rest here, also see new video under Videos and Resources tab:
The man who teaches the value of girls in rural India



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Monday

Tragedy of the Commons-Part 3


Tragedy of the Commons-Part 3



Why Would Anyone Kill Their Daughter?

In 1789, Jonathan Duncan, a colonial officer repeatedly reported back to England that some of the Indians were killing their infant daughters.  The English were shocked.  Mara Hvistendahl writes that the economic systems the English established created problems that meant that women could no longer inherit property so Indians killed their daughters for financial survival.  Her argument is tortured.  She attempts to point how common infanticide was in England as well, but that begs the question why Duncan was so shocked that he was disgusted and kept pointing it out so much to his superiors that his concern for India’s baby girls was eventually called  Duncan’s Private War? If it was common in England, why would he have even been shocked?

Overpopulation Concerns

Hvistendahl depicts a link between the U.S.A. concern during the 1950’s and 1960’s with overpopulations and the spread of Communism led John D. Rockefeller III to urge a group of investors that supplied aid to these countries with burgeoning populations to limit their growth by making any aid contingent upon birth control.  The Johnson administration also urged governmental agencies to urge populations control.  This push led to the formation of China’s One Child Policy and India's push to limit family size. 

The citizens of the countries that responded to American pressure came to the decision that if they could only have two children they wanted both of them to be boys. Those that could afford amniocentesis and later ultrasound had sex selection abortions. Others chose to pay the midwife eighty cents to snap the spine of a newborn and declare her stillborn, or dunk her in a vat of milk, pummel her until she convulses and dies or leave her in a ditch to be eaten by packs of dogs.  Some say that they are doing the baby a favor since women have such hard lives and she has the chance to come back as a celebrated boy.

Girls Could Bring Dishonor

Governments concerned with the severe shortages of girls have tried to convince citizens to give their baby girls up for adoption.  Many thought that it would be better to preserve their honor by killing her than risking that she might grow up and bring dishonor on the family even as an adopted girl.

Others blame a misogynistic culture that honors only men and sees women as property to be used and abused as men see fit.  There is a long held belief that raising a girl is like watering someone else’s garden.  She will need food, clothes and medical care but will never pay you back since she will marry and move away to another family.  Boys are breadwinners and only sons can light the funeral pyre for his father ensuring that he goes to heaven.  Often, the first girl is allowed to live to serve the family as a mini-mom or slave, always eating the leftovers after the boys eat, not going to school and denied medical care unlike boys.

Status

Many countries with biologically impossible male/sex ratios have strict class distinctions that define a person’s status.  Status and the honor of the family are more important than the life of a baby girl.  In the It’s a Girl trailer, one woman speaks nonchalantly about strangling eight baby girls so that she could finally have a boy.  Girls are considered inferior, disabled, unlucky, low status.  In western societies, the status of class if not as ridged or as valued.  We have class distinctions but they are fluid and no one is tried and murdered for trying to associate with another class, unlike in some countries.  Status in such countries is much more important than it is in the west, which is hard for westerners to understand. The Telegraph states that the middle class is jumping on selecting only males, following in the footsteps of the more wealthy who started the latest trend.

Dowry

Baby girls are being killed in half of the population of the world.  Dowry is not an issue in many of these countries, yet the male to female ratios are an impossibility without human intervention.  Indians claim that they want to kill baby girls because they cannot afford the dowries that are required when she marries.  An Indian girl who is unmarried brings shame, but marrying one costs a lot of money.  This may be a contributing factor but it does explain why the wealthy classes practice girl killing in even greater numbers, nor why this is a problem all over the world. 

The male/female births in the Indian, Chinese and Vietnamese populations in the U.S.A. and the U.K are showing biologically impossible ratios even greater than in their home countries. This means that they are sex-selecting or killing infant girls.  The numbers are so massive around the world, that the sex ratio for the world has been skewed.

Primary Sources:  

Hvistendahl, M. (2011). Unnatural selection:choosing boys over girls, and the conseuences of a world full of men. (First ed.). New York: Public Affiars, a member of the Perseus Books Group.

Nicholas Eberstadt, “The Global War Against Baby Girls,” The New Atlantis, Number 33, Fall 2011



It's a Girl video on 100 Million Girls under Videos: http://100milliongirls.blogspot.com/p/videos.html

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Saturday

Feeding Molek


                                                                    Picture from :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moloch


Feeding Molek
         by Marissa Mullins

The rock still stands --
growth of bushes,
briers, and half-dead flowers
covering its north side -- 
the south side shows
its grooved-smooth-gray-top,
this ragged side, chipped,
well-worn from use.

~ * ~

For thousands of years
it was a place of
fresh-born scrub-bushes
and twisted-tiny
crawling roses. The rock

at noon, the hottest hour
of the day, so the it
would pull the seeping blood
deep into its skin.
Faster than room and space made -- 
bodies slain and pushed aside -- 
they lined up with,
the crying children
held tight to breast, shoulder, face -- 
whispering, "remember the honor,
necessity. You must die."

In this way they fed Molek
the blood of their children
for days-on-end, one-by-one.
Crying babies, death knell ringing
across a summer sky while
the hot-wet-smell of blood
filled the breeze, floated away.

~ * ~

One hundred, two hundred, three
thousand, four thousand, more -- 
slaughtered into dark-gray silence,
quiet like the years
passing after them.
Two thousand years,
countless days, and
100-millions-girls later.

~ * ~
They come to the rock,
clear the way for sacrifice -- 
the blood, child blood, warm blood
splashes on the crawling roses.
The lines grow long, filled
with crying children
held tight to shoulder,
breast, face -- whispering,
"remember the honor, necessity.
You must die."

In this way we feed Molek
the blood of our children
for days-on-end, one-by-one.
Crying babies, death-knell ringing
across a summer sky while
we pretend its an illusion -- 
turn away, hide our eyes.

The rock still stands --
the growth of bushes,
briers,
and half-dead flowers
covering its north side; 
its south side chipped,
well-worn from use -- 
waiting.


~July 2012

This poem was written for the 100-million-girls website.

Artwork Credit: Artwork by (c) Tirin, aka Tilde Carlsten. Please visit her blog (offering a variety of interesting topics and great artwork HERE.) Thanks and gratitude to Tirin for the use of this picture.

Citations:

Wikipedia contributors. "Moloch." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 11 Jul. 2012. Web. 21 Jul. 2012.

Molek - explanation from Wikipedia: 

As a god worshipped by the Phoenicians and Canaanites, Moloch had associations with a particular kind of propitiatory child sacrifice by parents. Moloch figures in the Book of Deuteronomy and in the Book of Leviticus as a form of idolatry (Leviticus 18:21: “And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Moloch”). In the Hebrew Bible, Gehenna was initially where apostate Israelites and followers of various Baalim and Caananite gods, including Moloch, sacrificed their children by fire (2 Chr. 28:3, 33:6; Jer. 7:31, 19:2–6).

Moloch has been used figuratively in English literature from John Milton's Paradise Lost (1667) to Allen Ginsberg's Howl (1955), to refer to a person or thing demanding or requiring a very costly sacrifice.



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Saturday

Girl Killers Video

Informational video about the life of a girl from birth onward. Focuses on those in the lower caste and the dowry issue as a reason for killing baby girls. We now know that the very wealthy started the practice, not the uneducated villagers. (Be sure to click on the box to the right at the bottom to make the video fit your screen.)




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Thursday

Tragedy of the Commons-Part 2

Tragedy of the Commons-Part 2


Worldwide War on Baby Girls

The population composition of the entire human species is being distorted.  Some blame the
availability of inexpensive technology to conduct sex selected abortions. Nicholas Eberstadt,  
Henry Wendy Chair in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute writes,

The consequences of medically abetted mass feticide are far-reaching and manifestly adverse.  In populations with unnaturally skewed [male-female sex ratios,] the very fact that many thousands, in some cases, millions of prospective girls and young women have been deliberately eliminated simply because they would have been female establishes a new social reality that inescapably colors the whole realm of human relationships, redefining the role of women as the disfavored sex in nakedly utilitarian terms, and indeed signaling that their very existence is now conditional and contingent. Nicholas Eberstadt, “The Global War Against Baby Girls,” The New Atlantis, Number 33, Fall 2011, pp.3-18.


Sex-Selected Abortion is Just One Way to Kill a Girl

However, the focus on sex selected abortion is not entirely helpful.  Where sex selected abortion is outlawed or unavailable, baby girls are tortured in the most inhumane ways and left to die in gutters and ditches or smothered.  According to new data - an Indian girl between the ages of one and five years old is 75 percent more likely to die than an Indian boy, giving the country the worst gender differential in child mortality in the world

Female infanticide existed long before sonograms and sex-selected abortions.  Baby girls are fed to packs of canines while adults watch.  There are a multitude of ways to kill baby girls. They are drowned in a bucket of milk, fed salt, or buried alive in earthen pots. The latest trend in India is to dunk a newborn girl in a vat of cold water so that she will get sick.  Then the parents take her to the doctor who prescribes medicine.  The parents take the medicine home and throw it out.  So that when she dies a few weeks later, the doctor will determine the cause of death to be pneumonia.  Sometimes the infant is given a drop of alcohol to create diarrhea, which is another justified death that will not lead to murder charges.  Murdering newborns is illegal in most of the world so this provides cover for determined parents. "New Trends of Killing the Girl Child" Yahoo News,  http://in.news.yahoo.com/trends-killing-girl-child-084124279.html

Designer Boys

The Telegraph reports that Indian parents are even taking their little girls to surgeons and paying them to turn them into boys.  The surgeon will craft a penis and give the child hormones, customizing the child to fit the desires of the parents. The article claims that greed and a concern over status are driving this draconian trend. Telegraph, "Indians Pay Surgeons to Turn Girls Into Boys," http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/8601488/Indians-pay-surgeons-to-turn-girls-into-boys.html



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Tuesday

For Reference


For Reference

by Allyson Whipple

I. My thesaurus doesn’t have an entry for “genocide.”

Perhaps because some horrors are too strong for synonyms. Or perhaps because genocide
happens to other people, other nations, and Random House cares more about foreign book rights
than it does foreign people, so Americans don’t need more than one word for it. But remnants of
what might have been litter roads all over the world. Shells of potential, allowed little more than
a first breath, get slaughtered on sight, as though human life amounts to anything cheaper than
priceless.

II. My dictionary pretends that American’s don’t have a role in this.

As though we don’t commit violence against nation upon nation, that we don’t murder each
other, that we’re not driving this nation to suicide. PETA screams that meat is murder, but
in some countries, daughters don’t get the care afforded to animals bound for slaughter. In
America, we don’t care about children only allowed to live for a moment. Who get bludgeoned
like prizefighters who can defend themselves. Who get frozen like leftovers that nobody wants to
eat. Who get ignored like raisins in the sun—to wither, to explode, the outcome doesn’t matter.





Please feel free to leave poetry under Your Poetry in the comments.  


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Monday

Tragedy of the Commons-Part 1


Tragedy of the Commons

In half of the world today, fetuses, infants and toddler girls are being exterminated after birth merely because they are girls. The trend is increasing rapidly, radically altering male to female ratios worldwide with harrowing consequences. The United Nations Population Division and the U.S. Census Bureau’s International Programs Center, the two main organizations charged with tracking and projecting global population trends, have identified unnaturally high boy to girl sex ratios in over 50 countries and territories accounting for over 3.2 billion people, or nearly half of the world’s population.

The population composition of the entire human species is being distorted.  Some blame the
availability of inexpensive technology to conduct sex selected abortions. However, the focus on sex selected abortion is not entirely helpful.  Where sex selected abortion is outlawed or unavailable, baby girls are tortured in the most inhumane ways and left to die in gutters and ditches or smothered. Indian parents are even taking baby girls to doctors turn them into boys with a faux penis and hormones to maintain status. 

Rising Price of  a Good Woman

In China the “marriage squeeze” means that unlike in 2000 when 96 percent of all males married by their early 40’s to almost a quarter of all men projected to never marry by the year 2040, less than 30 years from now. Economists have surmised that a shortage of women should increase their value.  While this may be the case, we are seeing families sell their daughters to groups of men who pool their money and use her sexually and as a slave, then resell her.  Unfortunately, any increased value does not seem to trickle down to the woman. We can also speculate that a huge group of “excess males” in these populations with extreme child sex ratios would mean more crime, more trafficking, more prostitution, more war and so on.

Motivated mostly by greed and status,  a tragedy of the commons is underway, where individual decisions about what benefits one family may be exercised without regard for the degradation of life for all. This scope of this tragedy makes Hitler look good.  The UN estimates that over 100 million girls have been killed after birth in the last twenty years. 

It's Not Just an Asian Thing

The west struggles to understand why anyone would take such drastic measures to annihilate girl babies, though we have a history of son preference even in the west and the male to female sex ratios are skewed unnaturally even in America and the United Kingdom within certain populations. Some believe that the west has contributed to the problem because beginning in the 1960’s we focused on the overpopulation without concern for the ramifications.  We pressured countries to limit their births. The perverse result was that parents decided if they can only one or two children, they wanted boys to ensure wealth and status.

There is one bright spot in this female holocaust. South Korea has lowered their very high male to female birth ratios mostly due to a change in consciousness probably due to Christian influences. 
Since the west probably bears some responsibility for ushering in this gendercide, we need to be in the forefront creating solutions and ensuring that the human rights of baby girls are protected.

100 million girls have been silenced before they could even speak.  Who will speak up for them and hear their cries if not us? 

Watch for Part 2 of this series to come. 

Sources:

Nicholas Eberstadt, “The Global War Against Baby Girls,” The New Atlantis, Number 33, Fall 2011, pp.3-18.



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Sunday

Where have all our young girls gone?


Fascinating lecture, but it only addresses sex selected abortion, not the killing of another 100 Million Girls after birth. The numbers are harrowing! "Unless we act soon, the implications for crime, violence, and the perpetuation of the species itself could be potentially harrowing for us all. And Sen’s plaintive query – where have all our young girls gone? – will remain one of the most tragic, if unanswered, questions of this entire generation. -"
Read the full lecture here:

Where have all our young girls gone?

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Friday

A Father's Choice



A Father's Choice
      by Nadia


Once upon a time there was a large family with ten members.  There were so poor they couldn't live normally. Sometimes they didn't have any food to eat.  In this family, only the father could work because the children were small, and couldn't work.  The father didn't know what he should do.  He couldn't buy food and clothes for their children.

One day he met a man who had a drugstore.  He told him about his life.  The man gave him a suggestion.

At first the father got sad and refused to consider it.  But when he came home the poor man saw his children who were waiting for their father to bring them some food. But he had come home with empty hands.  The children became desperate.

The man sat in the corner of the room and thought about his friend's speech. "You have eight children and can sell the kidney of one of them and get a lot of money."

The man could not sleep.  The next morning when his friend opened his drugstore, the man went ot him and told him his decision.  The next day his friend took one of his children and they went to the doctor.

The boy was so afraid when they went to the doctor's room.  After an hour the doctor came out and said, "We could take the kidney but we couldn't help the boy.  Unfortunately, he died."


Pabot, Susannah E., comp. The Sky Is a Nest of Swallows. First ed. Belleville, 2012.
Afghan Women Writer's Project: http://awwproject.org/
Available on Amazon
You are reading: One Million Girls, please help support the blog by Following- www.milliongirls.blogspot.com
You may also follow the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/100milliongirls
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On Twitter @100milliongirls
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Wednesday

I Want a President Who Looks Like Me

I Want a President Who Looks Like Me

It is a violation of human rights when babies are denied food, or drowned, or suffocated, or their spines broken, simply because they were born girls.
                                                                            Hillary Clinton

When Indira Gandhi was Prime Minister of India, she met with her cabinet members to discuss the problem of rape. They noticed that the rapes were mostly happening at night, so the male cabinet heads all agreed there should be a curfew on the women. Indira Gandhi said, No, the curfew should be on the men, since they are the ones raping! This exchange shows just how vital a woman's voice is to reason, to common sense and justice.

Recently a woman accused me of lumping men into a big ball when I spoke of the atrocities against women in the world. Unfortunately, the major impediments to women's freedom come from men. I said men do a fine job standing up for themselves, it is women and girls who need help. I explained that I could not even imagine any man standing up and complaining that:

  • Only 97% of the Fortune 500 CEO's are male,
  • There are not 100 million boy babies being killed just because they are boys, 
  • They only make 30% more on the dollar than women
  • Only men govern 89% of the top law firms in the country
  • Only 74% of the men at law firms make $500,000 or more
  • Male doctors make only $350,000 more than female doctors
  • Only 77% of federal judgeships are held by men
  • Only 73% of state judgeships are held by men
  • Only 83% of the Senate is male
  • Only 83% of the House is male
  • That only 5% of men die in domestic violence as compared to 30% of women
  • That they are not being beaten and held as prisoner in their own homes
  • That they are being forced to cover every inch of their bodies in some countries
  • That there are no words to call a man a slut, whore or bitch
  • That from a young age he was told "stop acting like a boy," implying that boys are the worst things anyone can be.
  • Only 91% of editors are male
My friend wanted me to focus on the gains women have made in our generation. Yes, we've made gains, but I feel more like Susan B. Anthony. Susan is probably best known for her tireless work on behalf of women, but especially daring to vote and getting arrested. On her deathbed, she told a friend, All my life I fought for just this much justice, she held her hand up with her pointer finger and thumb parallel about one half inch apart, and I will die without achieving it.

Women all over the world need to be free to be who they are, to work if they wish, to not work if they wish, to give birth to girls and boys, or not to give birth at all, to wear what they wish, make equal pay, have equal opportunities and have equal support for their efforts. After all women hold up half of the sky.

We are forced to fight for basic rights and freedoms, even the right to live after birth instead of being disposed of like rats. I am a grandmother now and I want so much to leave a better world for my granddaughter, but oh I am getting older and the next generation doesn't seem to see how much still needs to be done.  

We need to stand together and support each other instead of attacking those who care about the next generation. I never dreamed that standing up for baby girls being killed after birth would be so controversial. I will not be silenced by anyone.  I hope you won't be silenced either.  If we yell loud enough and long enough, we will be heard. One hundred million infants were silenced and couldn't fight for themselves. We must fight for them!

Until we give more women a voice in leading the world, we will never truly be free. We give birth to the world, and it is time the world honors our contributions because without us, no male would exist.



You are reading 100 Million Girls.
Please support my effort to increase awareness about gendercide by Following the blog at
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Please share this article on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and you other networks!

Below are some, but not all of the resources used to write this article.
Resources:

ABA Commission on Women in Law
http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/marketing/women/current_glance_statistics_2011.authcheckdam.pdf
Catalyst
http://www.catalyst.org/page/64/browse-research-knowledge
Domestic Violence Resource Center
http://www.dvrc-or.org/domestic/violence/resources/C61/
Medscape Today
http://www.medscape.com/features/slideshow/compensation/2012/public
New England Journal of Medicine
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199604113341506
Wikimedia Medi Wiki
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Editor_Survey_2011/Women_Editors
The UNICEF document located on a tab of its own on this blog.
Congressional Research Service-House Composition
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL30261.pdf
Congressional Research Service-Senate Composition
http://www.senate.gov/reference/resources/pdf/R41647.pdf

Tuesday

How Can I Hide My Sorrow?




How Can I Hide My Sorrow?
            By Farahnaz

I am an Afghan girl,
Tears in my eyes, pen in hand,
Writing from my heart.

That heart, full of sorrow,
Pain, grief, sores,
How can I hid my sorrow?

No one understands me
Or feels my sadness.
No one smoothes ointment on my wounds.

How can I hide the sorrow
That fills me,
When my heart is
Exploding
            Exploding
                        Exploding




Pabot, Susannah E., comp. The Sky Is a Nest of Swallows. First ed. Belleville, 2012.
Afghan Women Writer's Project: http://awwproject.org/
Available on Amazon

You are reading: One Million Girls, please help support the blog by Following- www.milliongirls.blogspot.com 
You may also follow the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/100milliongirls
I post articles and information about women and children almost daily on the Facebook page.
On Twitter @100milliongirls 
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Friday

Baad-An Essay by an Afghan Woman



Baad
by Salma

Fatima was playing with her friend and cousin in her grandfather’s lovely flower-covered garden.  As she caught sight of many older villagers entering the house, she thought that her father must be throwing a party.  She had no idea that her family was busy making the most important decision of her young life.

At just 14 years old, Fatima was a very pretty and innocent girl with beautiful eyes.  What Fatima did not know was that her brother had ruined her life.  He had killed a neighbor’s son, and Fatima would pay the price.  The villagers had decided Fatima would have to marry Jan Mohammed, a man who was thirty years older.  She was to pay for the price of baad, an Afghan tribal tradition that involved giving a victim’s family a member-usually a girl-of the offending family.

When Fatima’s family told her the news, she cried a lot.  She knew she was a victim of her brother’s crime and she did not have a choice.  If she refused to marry Jan Mohammed, then her brother or other family member would be killed.  This would continue until all were killed.  Fatima hoped she would get lucky.  Sometimes in the case of baad, in-laws can be nice.  Most of the time, though, new brides were treated as servants.

On her wedding day, despite the fact that Fatima was a beautiful bride, she was sad and worried about her future.  But to her surprise, Fatima found Jan Muhammad’s family was very nice to her. Jan Muhammad was smitten by Fatima’s beauty and fell in love with her.  Soon Fatima returned Jan Muhammad’s feelings and fell in love with him too. After a year of marriage, a baby was born.  Fatima’s new family was very happy that they had their first grandson.  They named him Ahmad.  Ahmad was as handsome as Fatima was beautiful.

But Fatima’s happiness with her new baby and family was to be interrupted.  One night in a bombing, Fatima lost her family-her brother, sister, father and mother all died.  What saved her from complete sadness was Ahmad, watching him grow and learn new things day by day.  Ahmad kept her busy.

When Ahmad was three years old, Fatima’s second child Lila was born.  Lila had beautiful blue eyes and blond curly hair.  Fatima’s sadness over the loss of her family receded as she was loved by her children and husband.

One day during the time of the Taliban, Jan Muhammad left the house for his work.  That was the last day of his life. The Taliban killed him.

Fatima cried with her in-laws at the loss of her husband and their son.  But her in-laws were so upset they told Fatima this was her fault.  She was bad luck.  She had married their son because they had lost another son.  They told Fatima that she was in their house because of baad.  So they told Fatima they never wanted to see her again.  She was to leave with her children and never return.

Fatima was a 19-year-old woman with a five-year-old son and a year-old daughter.  She had no place to go.  She went to her uncle’s house and asked him for help.  Her uncle took her in, but Fatima soon found out he had plans for her.

Fatima’s uncle found a man who would buy Fatima but not her children, because he did not want his family to know that Fatima had previously married and her children were not part of the deal, Fatima fell into a deep depression. She begged and pleaded with her uncle.  She did not want to be married again.  She could not live without her children.  But her uncle had taken the money and did not want to give it back.

Twice, Fatima tried to kill herself, but did not succeed either time.

As Fatima’s desolation deepened, her uncle’s family held many discussions and decided that they would adopt Ahmad.  This was a monetary decision.  In two years, Ahmad would be seven years old and would be able to work on the street and make money for them.

But no one wanted Lila. She was a girl and considered useless, too young to work and too young to sell for marriage. 

Finally Lila was sold to someone from a European country as an adoption.  As Fatima was separated from her children, she cried and screamed.  No one listened to her voice.




Pabot, Susannah E., comp. The Sky Is a Nest of Swallows. First ed. Belleville, 2012.
Afghan Women Writer's Project: http://awwproject.org/
Also available on Amazon

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Wednesday

Take My Hands




Take My Hands
by Norwan

Where can I talk?
Where can I tell my untold stories?
              Where
              Where
              Where
I speak from under my burqa
I am not allowed to speak aloud
I am an Afghan woman
I breathe poisons.
I am not allowed to breathe the fresh air you breathe
I look outside the window of my burqa
It seems as if there is
No hope
No light
I see nothing but hopeless dreams
I see nothing but
            Darkness
            Darkness
            Darkness
It seems as if the doors of victory are closed
            Locked
            Locked
            Locked
There is no door in the jungle of wild thought.
I want a light to see my way
I want nothing else but
to live the way I want to live
to live the way I deserve.
I want to release myself
From the prison of a voiceless land.
From the tribe of silent
            Dead
            Burned, women
Help me.
Take my hands.
It is not written in my destiny
To burn myself.
Can you hear me?
I am a voice of my dead silent generation
I speak from under my burqa
I am not allowed to speak aloud
            Where can I talk?
            Where can I tell my untold stories?
Where can I buy a light?


Pabot, Susannah E., comp. The Sky Is a Nest of Swallows. First ed. Belleville, 2012.
Afghan Women Writer's Project: http://awwproject.org/
Available on Amazon


Stay tuned for some of the most amazing poetry you will ever read! To be posted on
One Million Girls, please Follow- www.milliongirls.blogspot.com

You may also follow the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/100milliongirls
On Twitter @100milliongirls

I also have a poetry blog, Poet on Poetry, www.poetonpoetry.com

Tuesday




The Burqa
by Meena Y.

Navy blue, long and baggy
Top and bottom with different designs of flowers
Hanging outside the shop along with other white and green ones
Swinging in the cold wind of Kabul winter.
Swinging tiredly and wondering about the woman who would own it
Maybe the one who would wear it unwillingly
Cursing herself for being born a woman
Complaining about her inability to see or move freely.
Swinging right and left, the burqa remained wondering
Whose face would it hide?
Whose identity would it take?


Pabot, Susannah E., comp. The Sky Is a Nest of Swallows. First ed. Belleville, 2012.
Afghan Women Writer's Project: http://awwproject.org/

I hope you leave comments below so the Afghan Women Writer's Project can relay them to the writers.

Stay tuned for some of the most amazing poetry you will ever read! To be posted on
One Million Girls, please Follow- www.milliongirls.blogspot.com

You may also follow the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/100milliongirls
On Twitter @100milliongirls

You might also like to visit my other blog, Poet on Poetry, www.poetonpoetry.blogspot.com

Wednesday

Let me Grow Up





Let Me Grow Up
by Shogofa

Let me grow up
Let me talk
I have lots of words
Let me walk, so I may run and feel the earth
I am a prisoner
Let me see the world, share my pain with all
Let me tell how
I am a prisoner for long time
I have wishes
I have dreams as a human being
Let me reach the dreams
I lost in war
More than dreams,
I lost my identity
Where is it? How can I find it?
I have been a prison for a long time
Let me see the world
Why must I stay in a cage?
The victim of so many rules.
Le me come out from my cage
See the garden of heaven
I am for living, not for beating
I am human being before being an Afghan woman
I have been prisoner for a long time
Let me have my life.

Pabot, Susannah E., comp. The Sky Is a Nest of Swallows. First ed. Belleville, 2012.
Afghan Women Writer's Project: http://awwproject.org/


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Monday



Sky is a Nest of Swallows
by Zainab

She was born in Iran and grew up with Iranian culture and language.  A flower needs soil to grow and for her, that soil was Iranian.  But her parents were Afghan immigrants—refugees--and life was very hard.  Privation, prejudice, strangeness: these were daily problems. 

She never thought it easy or even possible to separate the flower from its soil—to say, “That soil is barbarian with you growing in it.  It doesn’t know you! It doesn’t like you!  Go! Go to another place…” So she could not believe Iran would persuade Afghan people to return to their country.  She felt herself an Iranian girl in language, style, and culture.  She could not face returning to a country she knew nothing of except that people said that she was from here.  She thought Iran was her home, her soil, but she was wrong.

The family finally left everything in Iran and came to Kabul. So many people had said goodbye to Afghanistan but they returned to say hello, to say:  “Hey, wake up! It is now time to recover, to refresh, to stand up for us who came back for you.”

During the first months, everything was new and life was good.  Her family pumped water from a well and looked at this as useful exercise.  Prices seemed cheaper because of the different currency, and they felt more affluent.  When there wasn’t enough fare for a bus or taxi they were happy to ride the rickshaw, though it was dangerous and the rickshaw ride on Kabul’s bumpy Charquila Road was like a theme park ride.

One month, two month, three…a whole year passed, and by then things had grown boring. It seemed they had regressed ten years or more.  It was no longer acceptable to waste energy and time extracting water from a well for washing clothes and dishes, instead of with piped water.  The noise from the neighborhood kids became intolerable when the girl wanted to study.  And in winter, she hated the snow, rain, and wind.  The girl who used to love the wind whiplashing her hair!

She had changed.  The mud and slosh, the dust and pollution in the street made getting around, having electricity, and getting water much harder.  Father’s struggle to break wood for fuel and his trembling in the cold also changed her.  Her tears when the wood was finished and there was no money to buy more—all of this changed her interests, ideas, even her appearance. She was now shy and her hands were black and wrinkled from the cold and dirty water of the well.  She looked much older than her age.  She endured her father’s unemployment too.  He had worked as a welder in Iran and he was covered with cuts and rashes that she sometimes had to soothe for him with pomades.  So although they had less money in Afghanistan, she was glad her father’s skin could heal.  But he was ashamed about not working.  He decided that an illegal return to Iran was the only solution.

She wanted the whole family to return to Iran but they didn’t have visas so it was impossible.  Only her dad went.  They had never been separated more than a week.  How could they tolerate this?  God, how?
His hands were saints for her.  She kissed them, these hands, which had taught her sacrifice and zeal.  He lifted her head, looked into her eyes, and said, “Your father is strong, but do you know what my real power is? It is the hope of seeing my daughter in white doctor’s cloth.  You will make me proud.  Remember this!
**

My father returned to Iran, that alien place.  He returned because Afghanistan was also alien, both for me and for him.  I will never forget how the Iranian people scoffed: Hey Afghan!  Hey stranger! And I will never forget how the Afghan people, my people, also scoffed: Hey Iranian! Hey stranger! Neither country could provide fertile soil for our whole family.

It has been years since we returned to Afghanistan and I am still looking for my nationality.  I’m still hoping for a piece of this earth where my family can sit down together.  But my father has not returned.  Sometimes I become sad and whisper, “God, I feel so poor not to have a home on any part of your earth!”  At once a voice responds: “Don’t be sad. You are more like a swallow than a flower.  Swallows have no lifelong nest on earth.  The sky is their nest.  Do not worry. Reach for the sky!”


Pabot, Susannah E., comp. The Sky Is a Nest of Swallows. First ed. Belleville, 2012.
Afghan Women Writer's Project: http://awwproject.org/

I hope you leave comments below so the Afghan Women Writer's Project can relay them to the writers.

Stay tuned for some of the most amazing poetry you will ever read! To be posted on
One Million Girls, please Follow- www.milliongirls.blogspot.com

You may also follow the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/100milliongirls
On Twitter @100milliongirls