Storyline 16

In a man's world

Today we present you with the story of another strongwoman, mother and feminist. Our protagonist was born in the Republic of Ingushetia, next to Chechnya. Women’s rights hardly exist in this part of the world.
Where she comes from, a woman’s fate is decided before she is born. Not all of them get the opportunity to get an education, most of them are promised to a man and get married at the age of 15-16. Our protagonist got the future without rights and without the option to make her own decisions.

“I finished 11 grades, but I did not have time to go to the exams. I was married when I was 16 years old and they didn’t let me in for exams. I have a complete education only in 9 classes.”

She moved to Egypt with her husband and was supposed to cook, clean and take care of their children. After she got divorced, she moved to Poland, where she joined her mother in 2018. Today she’s 22, a mother of three children from whom she has to live apart. She’s an asylum seeker in Poland, and not leaving this country. Her ex-husband wants to take her parental rights, so she’s avoiding court in her home country.

“Therefore, I decided to run away and not give them any chance to re-register the children. I didn’t want to be deprived of my parental rights. ”

Our protagonist comes from an activist family. Her father, a cultural activist, was killed in 2005. Her family, mostly her, were threatened many times. Once, a man put her to the wall and shot next to her head, saying he will kill her if her family won’t stop their activism. She now found her place as a feminist in Poland, supporting women and fighting for their rights, with her mother on her side.

Her biggest dream was always to get education and work as a barista. Not a fancy dream, but for her it was very hard to achieve. She can’t do courses, because she never finished school. It’s hard for her to find a job, because the bias against Muslims in Poland is quite high. A lot of people see her as a terrorist, not knowing what she has been through.

Today it’s not job or self-fulfillment that’s on her mind, but her children, without whom she has to live. She’s not missing Ingushetia.

“Most Caucasians want to go home to their homeland. Nothing connects me in any way with the country. Only my children. If we talk about nature, then we have beautiful mountains, beautiful old buildings. About people … I probably didn’t come across good ones, so I can’t say anything good. (…) The most valuable thing that I have left in the country is the children.”

Her story is tragic and shows how women’s rights still hardly exist in some parts of the world. We’re happy she found a better place to live for herself, and hope for her to reunite with her children, and stay strong, as she always was. We’re sure that with her character she’ll make it to finish her education and get a great job!

From so far to so close.

* These materials are licenced under a CC BY-NC License for free access.
In a man's world