Afghan women struggle for sustainable mental health


Words and Art by H.Hidai


In many aspects, Afghan women’s lives are a collection of problems and difficulties. In each step they engage with obstacles. They tend to be the only supporters of their goals. In many families, they are treated like second class citizens which make them unconfident, shy and then mental disorders will often overtake them. 


Bans on education, work, travel and many other things have pressured them more than ever before. I’m currently working in the psycho-social sector which mainly provides services for mentally affected Afghan women. Every day, I meet dozens of women who suffer from the ongoing condition of the country. I feel proud when they share their stories and explain the way of their resistance. Even though they have a life full of restrictions and obstacles, they try to bring a kind of stability to their lives, each moment.


Every day, I receive letters from girls and women where they explain their feelings; and whenever I read them, I realise how life has become hell for Afghan women. There is lot of comments to be shared but I want to highlight some of the most important among them;


“what saddens me a lot in life is my illiteracy, and what I suffer a lot from is the existence of patriarchy.”


“It was very important for me to graduate from school, but I haven’t the right to enter school now. I’m very upset that in my last year of school I am forbidden from education. Even though there is  ban on education, I’m trying to continue my education in home and make myself capable to be financially independent in the future.”


“The most difficult situation in my life is that I don’t have family permission for studies. Although my brothers are literate, they don’t allow me to go to school.” 


“It is very difficult for me when people say: she is a girl, she is weak and she can’t do anything. These kinds of thoughts forced me to feel myself worthless.”


These girls are working day and night to bring a kind of happiness and improvement to their lives. The only thing that keeps their strength towards their goals is their unstoppable struggle. They are hopeful in the dark ages of Afghanistan and are trying to foster stable mental health.

H. Hidai

The author H. Hidai

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