"My biggest fear is to lose the gains we have made. I am also afraid of going back to civil war. We have made so much progress and I am afraid to lose it: children going to school, young people studying and playing sport, women working. We have fought too hard for our freedoms to lose them again."
While I deplore Hollywood's pressure on women to be underweight and perfect, I don't believe that obesity can be a positive political statement. We should all be advocating for a healthy lifestyle, with a good diet and sufficient exercise.
"My concern is that President Karzai controls all the boxes. Unfortunately, neither the Independent Elections Commission nor the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission have proved their transparency and impartiality."
Most of us want to be appreciated and loved and valued for more than how we look, but are unable to completely expunge all interest in our outward image. If this is where most of us live, shouldn't we be asking for acceptance to be in this middle space?
As I travel the U.S. giving speeches and "girl talks", one of the top points of discussion is the pressure to look and be perfect. I tell these girls "There is no such thing as perfect, but there is such a thing as being confident."
When I was a little girl, I believed the way to get others to like me was to be nice. I shouldn't be confrontational. It would be wrong to express anger, because that would make me look "crazy" or "wild." The brainwashing from society starts young.
I was held in solitary confinement for 18 months in 1978 without a trial because of my political activities. I was subjected to torture during investigations by the intelligence service and then transferred to Pul-e Charkhi prison.