Kawser Amine: The Afghan Women Left Behind

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Growing up in Afghanistan, Kawser Amine was able to dream of things previously unheard of in her country. When the Taliban took over, all that ended.

When I was nine, I decided to play professional soccer. As a young woman in Kabul, this was actually possible. The country was opening and growing, women were finding access to education. My mother was a journalist.

I started playing soccer in school. When I played, I could just be myself and not think about what many in my country thought. Some in my own family thought girls should marry young and stay at home, and sometimes angry men threw acid on girls walking to class

But we persisted.

When I was selected to join Afghanistan National Women’s Team, it was the best feeling of my life. I was moving forward, but I still hid my soccer uniform traveling between practice and home. Our team faced bomb threats. To the Taliban, we were enemies.


My husband, a NATO videographer, and I immigrated to the United States two years ago. His work and my position as a professional soccer player put us at risk.

Today the Taliban control everything. They banned women from working, which slashed household incomes. Women can no longer attend school and cannot leave home without a man. Domestic violence is high. Many Afghans applied for humanitarian parole months ago and are still waiting. They live in poverty and danger.

My path is so different from theirs only by luck. I could be them. I am them. We cannot forget what has happened to American allies in Afghanistan, and what is happening to women. This isn’t just my fight. There are thousands of silent voices alongside me. I want the world to know that we haven’t forgotten those silenced Afghan wives, mothers and daughters.

With a Perspective, I’m Kawser Amine.

Kawser Amine is a peace activist and advocate for women's rights.