Young girls in Pakistan often grow up being told they can do certain things after marriage, and daughters in South Asia are often referred to as guests in their parents’ house until their marriage, waiting to be given away to their husbands at the right time.
Afghan women are strong, bright and resourceful, and even in the toughest situations we are able to take comfort from the beauty God bestows upon us. In Khas Kunar the Taliban could not stop me from hearing the flow of the local river, swollen by recent heavy rain. Nor could they tarnish the taste of the local cornbread and yogurt. But in all corners of Afghanistan it is getting harder for women in particular to hold on to any hope.
The future husband rapes the young woman shortly after having kidnapped her (it is estimated that there are 2,000 rapes preceding marriage a year), thus condemning her as his wife, for returning to her family after that would be a deep mark of shame.
Still today, a majority of the public believes that women were handed their rights on a silver platter. However, according to the rectified version of history, it was in the late 19th century that Muslim women of the Ottoman Empire first started to demand their rights.
This is a behenchara, a sisterhood that grows stronger with each media attack or attempt to pull it down. Pakistani women have fought the patriarchy for so long and have suffered its consequences too many times. But like before, they have only reemerged stronger for next year.
A string of femicides struck Kuwait over the past year - one in which zero seats were won by women in parliamentary elections, highlighting the intricately systemic obstacles Kuwaiti women face in a country often imagined as a progressive hub in the region.
Ten years ago, war shattered the hopes of many Syrians. But none have suffered quite like the women. Lydia Wilson writes about what it is like to be a young woman in Syria today, facing mundane hardships, greater responsibility, and diminished prospects.