“When I woke up with swollen eyes from the previous night’s crying, I realized he did not deserve a second chance after all the times he had beaten me and had burnt my house that almost killed me and my children,” Fawzia told us about her drug-addicted husband in an emotional voice. Fawzia, living in the outskirts of Herat, tells us about how as a 13 year old girl, she was swindled into marrying a drug addicted man and was later harassed by her father in-law and brother in-laws.
Afghanistan is the world’s biggest supplier of illegal opiates, producing 90 percent of the opium poppies worldwide, which has largely contributed to drug addiction, domestic violence and more economic difficulties for families in Afghanistan. Women, like Fawzia, are the main victims of this miserable drug war. They either fight the hardships or lose their lives as a result of violence from their drug-addicted fathers, brothers and husbands.
As she continues to speak about her bitter past, she cries, “My husband would get angry soon, because he was not conscious of his acts. He beat me and my children. We did not have any savings and all the money that I would earn through tailoring, he would waste it on buying weed and opium while lying to me that he had started a business with it.”
Fawzia admitted her husband to a treatment center but the doctors found it impossible to cure him. The daily violence went on until Fawzia decided to divorce him after 11 years.
When Fawzia joined Zardozi a year ago, the organization took her case into special consideration by allocating a larger loan amount for her through which she could build a room in her mother’s house and buy tailoring machines. Zardozi director, Ms. Homa Usmany, met Fawzia personally and found her in dire need of moral support and confidence to stand on her feet, to try to better her life. Fawzia attended the Manbeh where she could receive trainings, share her problems, interact with other women like her and get her problems solved through the trainers. “I became motivated by other women’s success in Manbeh and looking at them gives me hope and energy to be as successful like them,” said Fawzia.
Fawzia says that she has not seen her husband since, but she still fears that he will come back and harm her and the children.
Fawzia can cover most of her expenses with the tailoring money, but first she has to pay back the loan money, and then have some savings which she will later invest into buying her own house and opening a tailoring workshop there.