"Like most other Afghans, I am afraid of a return to the past, to that tension-fueled political, social and religious environment. For now, the positive cooperation between Afghanistan and the international community is keeping that at bay. But if this cooperation ends, we cannot rule out the possibility of returning to the dark days of the past."
Many women of my generation grew up learning to be quiet. We were told when we were young that children were meant to be seen, not heard. Then, with the start of the Vietnam War and the Women's Movement, we started to see the value of having a voice and having that voice heard.
Today -- and on any other day -- millions of women around the world fall short from realizing their full potential.
Women are regarded more favorably in the workplace if they defer to others, if they are collaborative and soft. Women who are direct and strong are not valued as much as humble and demure women. This is what Ban Bossy is all about.
We are fortified by evidence that equality for women is progress for all.
This Women's History Month, it's worth remembering that women have served in the United States military since its very inception -- and in nearly every conflict thereafter.
How could I sufficiently thank her for all she has given me -- particularly as a teenager growing up in the 1970s -- which included my very first glimpse of a future free from the conventional constraints of housewife and mother?
Perhaps it's no coincidence that the month of March, named after Mars, the Roman god of war, is widely recognized as Women's History Month. While women are rarely battle-hungry, the war between the sexes has continued to transcend time, technology and tastes for generations.
"The youth give me hope. They refuse to bow their heads and submit like the generations before them did."
Young men and women all over the world should be in charge of telling their own stories.
"Our people are immobilized: I have seen people barely flinch while someone is beheaded in front of them. The Afghan people have had their willpower stolen from them; the society has become numb."
Persisting to demand equity was one of the hardest things I have ever worked with a group of people to accomplish. And I learned some tough lessons.
I have had to educate my staff, tell them that being harassed is not part of the job. The customer is not always right. I have had to tell many female staff members that being nice is your job, but when someone makes you feel uncomfortable, there is a limit to your niceness.
In honor of Women's History Month, I want to highlight Googoosh, this legendary singer of Iran, and her dedication to pursuing music and the arts.
"Schools are still being closed to girls today. They throw acid on girls, poison the water containers in girls' schools, and distribute clandestine newsletters mobilizing against families of the students and teachers. These are all indirect ways of closing the schools to girls."
"The terrible events that women suffer every day in Afghanistan demonstrate that women do not enjoy their human rights in this society."