In a culture where girls are often kept close to home after they finish school, my honest, soft-spoken, soft-hearted Abu gave me his blessing when I wanted to join Peace Corps and travel the world. It wasn’t easy for him. As a father of two girls, I try to understand where he is coming from.
When I was younger my father worked endless hours to support our family of feminists. He didn’t have much time to teach us personally, but he made sure we went to good schools and had access to all the knowledge and teachers. He’d come home after long hours of work, and sometimes let some non-feminists cultural marriage talk slip and regret it instantly. He’d have to sit through my sister and I letting out all our fire.
I share more than my facial features with him. His love for natural medicine and photography was planted in me as well, and I am grateful. I am grateful for it all, the good the better and the best.
"While you don’t have to be a father to understand, support, or advocate for the empowerment and equality of women and girls, it’s a point of personal connection that can illustrate both the need for equality and the capacity we have in our lives to take action.
That’s why the State Department is launching #DadsAndDaughters -- a campaign we hope will start a global conversation about dads, daughters, and gender equality.
For the first two weeks in October -- including October 11, which marks the International Day of the Girl -- we want to hear your stories of how dads and daughters buck stereotypes, change cultural attitudes, and support each other by advancing gender equality.
How to Get Involved
Post a photo, video, or a blog on social media using #DadsAndDaughters to tell us how your own daughter or father -- or a daughter and father relationship -- has helped you to think differently about the strength of girls and women, and the potential for fathers to advance equality."