The Cougar Chronicle

I strive for education for all women in my society

Benazir Liaquat, Contributor

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Narrative

 

Pursuing my education was difficult. I come from a society where they did not allow me to go out of my home due to the negative stereotypes against women.

 

I am a tribal girl of Kurram Agency FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas) which is located at the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

 

In my area there have been military clashes for seven years, due to this we wouldn’t go to school because sometimes the operations would last for three to four months; we requested our school administration to open the school because we can’t miss our classes for such a long period of time.

 

Growing up I was the only child and in my society a family who just had one daughter is considered inferior. To break this concept, my parents wanted me to be a strong and empowered woman that has the confidence to speak to the public and to be the voice of women. The only thing that could empower me is education, so I decided to go forward with my education. In the area of Pakistan (FATA) there is no university, and I am the first girl of my area who went to Lahore College for Women University in Lahore (a city 364 miles away from where I live).

 

When I went back to my village during summer break, I arranged seminars for primary school teachers to improve their teaching methodologies because teachers had poor methods of teaching. The teachers would only get an education that lasted from first to 10th grade and very few have university degrees.

 

It was always my dream to travel the world, explore new places and to break the stereotypes that a woman can’t travel alone. My father would be judged by other men because he would take me to restaurants, and to different places in Kurram agency where women weren’t allowed to go.

 

Today, I am in the USA, for one semester in CSU San Marcos. I came here in a cultural exchange program i.e. the Global Ugrad Pakistan and currently I am a cultural ambassador from Pakistan that gets to know the American culture, while they get to know mine.

 

I tell my story because I expect that when people get to know about me, it will be an inspiration for the girls around the world who are facing difficulties in education. Parents will start to believe in their daughters, just how my father has always believed in me.

 

I am determined to set such examples that not only the girls of FATA, but girls from all the developing countries will be allowed to get an education and to travel alone.

 

It will change the mindset of people that one can go with one’s values and culture when on international borders as I use to wear my cultural dress with my head covered with dopata (scarf).

 

I would like to invite the international communities to come and help us in making schools and supporting the students in getting education by providing them books, pens and uniforms. I hope they can help the students in FATA strive for education.

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1 Comment

One Response to “I strive for education for all women in my society”

  1. Hina on October 1st, 2018 9:18 pm

    More power to you!!

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