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A small chat with a good person


One autumn day, I visit my friend Kassim. It is warm in the weather, we set up on plastic chairs in the garden outside the house he cares for. He has made tea and we have time for a chat. Everything is fine with the wife who has been to hospital, he says, but he wants to talk about the woman who was lying in bed next to him. "She had no father, her brother promised her to a man both the mother and the girl were against. Before the wedding, the girl guy put on her, she died during the days I was visiting, ”he says.

We talk about the violence against women, and I talk about the ones we met in Herat, many of the women talked about men's violence as part of daily life. "Many men strike because they think it is useful and good; they have never heard that women have rights. I also have the power to strike, "says Kassim," no one would criticize me, but if we believe in God, then we know that she or he did not send us here to use force against other people. This country needs change, ”he says. "Why do the women have to join the men of their family when they get married, why can't the men stay with the women in her home?" He thinks it could provide greater protection for women if they could stay with their own after they got married.

Kassim comes from a small village far from the capital, mother and father are farmers who can neither read nor write. He is touched when he thinks about the first time he heard about human rights and that poor and small people are worth as much as others. He decided to become someone who supports those who need it. "Someone has to start," says Kassim.

New knowledge changed his life. He thinks all problems disappear when people get information and education, and talks like no woman is beaten in my part of the world. I think maybe I should let him believe it, he needs all the encouragement he can get, but isn't it more important that he knows what reality looks like?

"Thousands of Norwegian women seek help every year because of men's violence," I say, feeling miserable. Kassim looks at me in horror. "This is very strange to me," he says after a long pause. “I thought everything was different with you. Don't men stop beating when they hear that women are human rights? "

We talk about other and nicer things afterwards, but I see that he has not finished what we started with. Then I have to go and he follows me out. "Do you think the women being beaten accept it because they think it's right?" He asks as he opens the gate. "I wish we had more time to read and write and discuss," he calls out to me.

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