(WOMENSENEWS)–In my society in Afghanistan, women are considered inferior to men. Women struggle for their rights, and in most areas they are still considered slaves. A woman has no right to an education or even to put her foot outside the door of her house.

In my society, families are upset when a girl is born. Women are held responsible for every wrong. If a family finds out about a forbidden relationship between a girl and a boy, they kill the girl and the boy is left to live without any concerns. If love is a sin, it has to be a sin for both people. If it doesn’t matter for the boy, then why should the girl pay for it?

In some homes and regions, women are not permitted to eat before their husbands; if the husband doesn’t want to eat they can’t eat either. Usually when a woman shares her ideas about something, men don’t listen. They say, “Now we will have to listen to a woman!” Some men consider listening to a woman’s advice, or asking a woman for her opinion, to be an insult to themselves. If they obey a woman, it will cause them to lose respect.

Sometimes I think these customs will go on forever. Will a time come when we will get our rights and we will be treated as equals?

My family has always been supportive of my education, but I know many girls who aren’t as lucky. I consider myself fortunate, but there are still things my family won’t allow: I will never be permitted to study abroad or even to live in another city without my family.

And if every woman was happy and free to follow her wishes, we would have a more developed and peaceful society.