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Where Eagles Dare…

By Munaj Gul Muhammad

I, a young girl, yearn to study. I have dreamt of being an inspirational figure all my life, but literally, society wishes me a different fate. I always dream for a better future with full freedom. But most go against it. They believe girls deserve no freedom.

In reality, women are eagles born to fly very high, but society has broken their wings and made them susceptible. It always tries to cage them by taking their dreams away. Society makes them helpless. They speak in silence.

They want to chain women. For them, gender matters the most. They say women are born to be married off and should be only regarded as progenitors. But women are born to live free, to live by their own dreams. The world today recognises the right of every girl to have a say, to have an education and a better life. But in my society, most women stop studying when they are married off or when they pass their matriculation for many societal pressures. I spoke to some friends.

“As a female in Balochistan, I was compelled to relinquish my education when my parents married me off at a very young age. Very soon after our marriage, my husband started taking drugs. As a result of having drugs, he always beats me to give him money to buy more drugs. Being a woman (mainly his wife), I say nothing and bear it all. I embroider to earn a small sum of money to feed ourselves. It was too tough for me to say goodbye to my education, but I did. It ended my future dream of becoming a doctor,” bewails a 14-year-old friend who requested I leave her anonymous.

Society has already destroyed her dream. Another married friend, Sara, told me: “To become a lawyer was the foremost dream that I had all my life. The members of my family tried to stop me from getting an education and learning about my rights, including other women. They still want to annihilate my dream. They create difficulties in my path. I still wish to be a lawyer.”

It has been an uphill battle for married women to get an education. Their dream to get admission in a college or university to study like men remains unfulfilled. How will it be if they continue uneducated and unaware of their rights?

“With each passing night, I sit in a corner of my room and think about my existence. Sometimes, I laugh at myself, sometimes, I curse myself for being a girl. But sometimes, I feel proud as a peacock for being a very decisive young lady. I, too, laugh at the people around me.”  says Sara. 

Everyone has the right to freedom to choose their course in life. Balochistan possesses many creative women, but they are all in chains. Like me too. I would like to be free, to soar like an eagle and find my footing.

Then it happened.

An angel beamed into my dreams and gave me an idea to materialise my longings. Perhaps writing this will slowly be a move towards it – my voice will be heard somewhere, and the silence will be broken. Women and men will walk together in harmony, with equal rights to education.

.

Munaj Gul Muhammad writes for different national newspapers and has won Agahi Award (Pakistan’s biggest Journalism Awards) in the category of Human Rights in 2018. He can be reached at munaj1baloch@gmail.com.

*This story is based on a report published by Munaj Gul Muhammad in Balochistan Voices.

PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL

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