Being a Girl, by Abby Court

The Court Family was honoured to attend an awards ceremony at the Turner Valley Legion on May 11th where Abby was awarded second place for her Junior Essay submitted for the annual Remembrance Day Literary Contest. We are pleased to share it with you, below:

Being a Girl
by Abby Court

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms outlines rights for Canadians. This means that Canadians have freedom of religion, and freedom of expression, the right to vote and to be educated in one of Canada’s official languages. Other countries aren’t so lucky, such as Afghanistan.

I recently read “The Breadwinner” by Deborah Ellis. Parvana, the main character is a young eleven-year-old girl. She lives in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital city.  As a result of Parvana’s father being arrested, the family is left without somebody to make money, because women are forbidden to work.  Parvana must dress like a boy in order to make money for her family.  In the story Parvana was disrespected because she was a girl and the Taliban didn’t think girls deserved to go to school.  They made her feel ashamed because she wasn’t allowed out of the house without a man.  Parvana and her mother were beaten with sticks until they fell to the ground.  This made me feel sad and made me want to stop reading the book because of how women were treated.

The things that happened to Parvana in “The Breadwinner” happen everyday to women in Afghanistan.

I am a Canadian girl.  How would I feel if I were in Parvana’s position?  Woman should have the right earn money and go to school.  What if the Taliban were in Canada and nobody stood up to them, would we have these rights?  In Canada we have peace and no one needs to fight here for basic rights.  I get to go to school everyday and am allowed to leave my house without a man.  

There are men and women in the Canadian Military who fight to uphold the rights and freedoms so many Canadians take for granted.  My dad’s friend served in Afghanistan and he had to park tanks in front of a school so girls could go learn.  He and his soldiers sat in their tanks for days and days in the hot desert so those girls got to do what I do every day.  

Thank you to our soldiers who served in war so we have rights and freedoms.