What’s in a Voice


The Afghan Women’s Writing Project, started by Masha Hamilton, gives a voice to those who have been silenced. Masha’s goal was to give the women in Afghanistan a voice in their own lives, even though they had been condemned to silence under the rule of the Taliban (The Goals, Policies, and Practices of the Taliban section). Through this project Afghan women are able to write down their thoughts and publicly share their stories while still remaining anonymous.

Being able to simply share their stories gives hope to these women. By telling the stories of their lives and posting them to the Internet, it gives them a voice (3 and 4), one that can be heard by thousands. Their hope is that somebody from across the globe will be inspired into action after reading their story. Hopefully, taking a public stance against their oppression and encouraging others to do the same. Maybe their sharing will end their repression, end their confinement, and ultimately end their suffering.

In fact, almost everyone can relate to their situation. Everyone has that thing they did that one time that they regret doing and feel guilty about. It is possible to walk around for a few days, keeping it bottled up inside you, but eventually it starts to eat you up. You cannot focus, you have a hard time sleeping and you cannot think because that “thing” is always at the front of your mind. Eventually you burst open and tell it all to somebody, and afterwards you feel clean, refreshed and ready to go. The same concept applies to these women. Keeping their thoughts and feelings all bottled up is not easy and eventually their minds begin to overflow. As Masha put it “write it down to clear room for something new.” That is exactly what these women do; since they have nobody in their community to share their stories with they post them to the Internet, clear their minds and fill it up again. Hopefully one day they will not have to worry about making secret trips and their new found voices will be heard around the world as a desperate cry for help.


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