Thursday, 20 April 2017

Afghan author Zahra Yaganah writes explicitly about topics such as marital rape and how women fall victims of cultural norms

The 'Light of Ashes', a fiction book written by a former child bride and a successful Afghan writer Zahra Yaganah, is now also available in international market.
Zahra Yaganah at her home in Kabul
The book is based on the real story of Yaganah’s life. She was 13 years old when she was married to a man twice her age. Yaganah has suffered from abuse by her drug-addicted husband. The violence brought her on the verge of death many times.
The story of Yaganah is not an exception as many Afghan women have faced domestic violence.
However, very few has dared to speak about it publicly; Yaganah is one of those few women. She writes explicitly about topics such as marital rape, menstruation and the lifelong damage caused to women by child marriages.
In an interview with 'The Guardian' Yaganah said that “It is impossible for Afghan women to read this book and not find an issue that reflects their life story,”  she says.
"Women can find their path, despite all the problems they have.”  She discusses her perceptions about marriage, culture and her attitude towards her husband: “I thought I had to serve my husband like a king.”  Barely a teenager, she had no concept of what penetrative sex meant. The morning after the marriage was consummated, she woke up in hospital. Yaganah hopes her book can help liberate Afghan women and educate readers about women’s lives, menstrual cycles and how women fall victims of cultural norms.