I was talking to my mom the other day about women's rights. And boy have we come a long way! There are so many things that I never knew, things that her generation and the generations of women before her had to put up with. One topic that we got on was birth control. Did you know that a woman used to have to get her husband's permission if she wanted to go on the pill? Is that insane or what?
Nevertheless, in other countries women are still struggling. A case that struck a chord in me is about a girl named Atefah. She was 16 years old when she was executed in an Iranian square. Hanged to death. Why? Because she'd had sex. Yes, you read that right. She'd had sex and she was hanged for it. That disgusted me, but then I read on and tears came to my eyes. It seems the state-run newspaper accused her of adultery and described her as being 22 years old. As it turns out sex outside of marriage is a capital crime, right along with murder.
Am I the only person who finds this absolutely incomprehensible? I understand that not all cultures are the same. Diversity is the spice of life. If we all thought the same, acted the same, dressed the same life wouldn't be worth living. But we're not talking about any of that. We're talking about a young girl, a kid really, who had the same dreams and ideas as my own daughter. She probably worried about her hair and zits, dreamed of marriage and babies. All that changed, her hopes and dreams stolen. Her life taken away. And all because she had sex.
This girl should be remembered. We should all know her name. We should all see her face. And we should all kiss our daughters and be grateful that, at least in some countries, times have changed. Women have a say and little girls have the right to dream.