World of Women
Afghan's first female rapper continues to defy tradition despite death threats
Readers talk back
Must reads site wide
IWD more than just a cover story, Is this the year of the female founders? Fear is the root of all your problems: What we read
As Afghanistan's first female rapper, Sosan Firooz is defiant against social conventions, breaking rules and risking her safety to defy rules by performing publicly.
In a country where women serve traditional roles and remain out of the spotlight, a public performance by a young woman is extreme. Firooz performs in front of men, wearing western clothing.
Debuting her first song Our Neighbours in October 2012, she raps about her experiences living in refugee camps in Iran: "Listen to my story! Listen to my pain and suffering!".
On other songs she raps about child abuse and the repression of women's rights in Afghanistan.
"How long should we keep this silence?" Sosan Firooz says in an interview with CBS. "There's a need for people to rise up. And others should follow."
Since releasing her first song and gaining attention, Firooz has been subjected to threatening messages and has started receiving death threats against family members. "They told [my mother] 'If your daughter appears on TV again, we will cut off your head'," said Firooz.
In an earlier interview with AP, Firooz confided that some of her family had shunned her for defying convention. However, she still has the support of her father, Abdul Ghafar Firooz. He told AP that he had quit his job at the government-run electric department to accompany her whenever she leaves the house, and protect her as she pursues her acting and musical career.
"I am her secretary, answering her phones. I am her bodyguard, protecting her. When she's out, I must be with her," he said. "Every parent must support their daughters and sons to help them progress," he said.