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Depression Rampant Among Afghan Women

Siam Zamir News

Gender violence, poverty and associated social problems fuels widespread mental health problems. The razor scars on 18-year-old Leila’s hands and neck bear witness to her past attempts at suicide. The Herat teenager told IWPR that she had become deeply depressed after her marriage to a 45-year-old man. I married a much older man because of my parents, later, I realised ...
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Afghan Midwives Make Their Mark

Siam Zamir News

Community care has massively reduced maternal mortality. Fatemeh, a 34 year-old mother-of-three, has bitter memories of her first two deliveries. Both were home births with no formal medical assistance. “I suffered so much during these two deliveries and I nearly died,” the Baghlan resident told IWPR. The birth of her son a year ago was very different. Taken to the ...
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Can Afghanistan's Women Pilots Aim High?

Siam Zamir News

Social prejudice and limited facilities makes life tough for the handful of female students at the country’s aviation academy. In December 2016, one of the Afghan Air Force’s (AAF) only two qualified female pilots sought asylum in the United States after years of receiving death threats. Niloofar Rahmani, who got her wings in 2012, now hopes to eventually enlist in ...
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Afghanistan: The Shame of Having Daughters

Siam Zamir News

Women are still routinely disrespected and even abused for giving birth to baby girls. Jamila says that she has become a social outcast, just because she has six female children. The 45-year-old, who lives in the eastern province of Nangarhar, said that her daughters were also beaten and mistreated. “After I gave birth to my sixth baby girl, all the ...
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Hope for Afghan Women Traded to End Feuds

Siam Zamir News

Campaigners hail progress in efforts to end ancient practice. When families in some parts of Afghanistan fall out over serious matters, one way of avoiding an escalating blood feud is for the offending party to hand over a woman to the other side. Known as “baad”, the custom involves an arranged marriage between the woman and someone from the injured ...
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Afghan Women Hit by Mental Health Crisis

Siam Zamir News

Experts say that psychological problems are on the rise. The 45-year-old told IWPR that she had experienced many years of domestic abuse. She was 15 years old when her father married her off against her will to a man from Paktia province. I was unhappy in this marriage from the very beginning, the culture in Paktia was new for me ...
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Afghan Girls Demand Respect

Siam Zamir News

Conservative traditions in the southern province of Kandahar mean that sons are valued over daughters. Gul Ghutay has two brothers and three sisters. But her father, she said, only cared about his sons and barely acknowledged his daughters. Her mother had lobbied hard to allow Ghutay to remain in school until the 11th grade, the girl continued. Without her efforts, ...
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All-Female Orchestra In Afghanistan Fights The Taliban With Music

Siam Zamir News

Playing instruments was banned during Taliban rule in Afghanistan, and many conservative Muslims still frown on most forms of music today. Like many teenagers, 19-year-old Negin Khpalwak from Kunar in eastern Afghanistan loves music, but few people of her age have battled as fiercely to pursue their passion in the face of family hostility and threats. Playing instruments was banned ...
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Afghan Women Fight for a Sporting Chance

Siam Zamir News

Defying conservative traditions, female enthusiasts continue to pursue their goals. Jamila has been a regular visitor to the women-only Bibi Sabri sports club in Pul-e Khumri city over the past six months. The 45-year-old said that exercise was the only thing that could relieve a back condition so severe she had travelled abroad several times over the last three years ...
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Why Afghanistan's Nowruz has been interrupted

Siam Zamir News

Nowruz marks the start of the new year and has been celebrated for 3,000 years, observed by adherents of both main branches of Islam, Sunnis and Shias. But in Afghanistan a campaign by conservative clerics to discourage the festivities has led to confusion and uncertainty among a new generation, the BBC's Auliya Atrafi reports. This year people across Afghanistan, Iran, ...