Friday, August 21, 2015

The Underground Girls of Kabul In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan by Jenny Nordberg

"The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan" by Jenny Nordberg is an enlightening book into the role (singular) of women in Afghanistan. 

By interviewing Afghani women (as well as a few men), the author learned that women are thought by men to be solely for the purpose of bearing male children.  Women are subjected to violence by their husbands and mothers-in-law, are heavily scrutinized by all, and are basically held captive in their own homes. 

Because this mostly illiterate culture still conveniently believes that women determine the sex of a child, a woman who does not have any sons is thought to not be "trying hard enough".  Families that have no sons are looked down on in the general society so some have taken to dressing their young daughters as boys and calling them masculine names.   For some of these girls, they don't want to revert back to their birth gender and lose the freedoms they have enjoyed as being "male".

Although I had an idea how women were treated there, I really didn't.  It is heartbreaking that these women have really no control in their lives.  Other than some educated men that allow their daughters to learn and work, the majority of daughters are solely raised for helping to keep house and for the bride-price they could bring.

If you are interested at all in Afghani culture, I would encourage that this be a book added to your list. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a free copy of this book by Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest opinion. 

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