During the three years that Dairos and I were working in Herat, I realized that there was a lot of violence and discrimination against women. In Afghanistan’s highly patriarchal society, if a woman has a job, she is looked down upon and will definitely be subjected to vulgar language. So just imagine what it is like for artists. Most people consider female artists as nothing more than prostitutes. All female artists who work in Afghanistan today are risking their lives so that they can pave the way for other women.
This was one of the reasons we decided to move to Tajikistan. After our move, we continued to follow the news about violence against women back in Afghanistan and in 2010 decided to write a song about this issue. When we first released ‘Cry of the Woman’, which talked about the daily problems that women deal with, I received very positive feedback in cyberspace.
Music video for "Cry of the Woman".
Two years later, we decided to do another song about women, this one about violence against them, called “Nalestan”. We started receiving many threatening messages ordering to stop our work. But we won’t stop.
Rap duo 143.
“The situation for women in Afghanistan has been improving, but only in large cities”
We have toured both in Tajikistan and Afghanistan, and have performed at six concerts in Kabul so far. Fortunately, we have been received very warmly. At our most recent concert, a small part of the audience started insulting us when we performed ‘Cry of the Woman’. But for the most part we’ve been treated well.
Since the Taliban left power, the situation for women in Afghanistan has improved, but only in large cities like Kabul, Mazar Sharif and Herat. And the majority of Afghanistan’s population does not live in these few cities. Every day we hear new stories about violence against women, forced marriages at very early ages and all sorts of other abuse. We still have a long way to go.