"You will be a son, my daughter." With these stunning words Ukmina learned that she was to spend her childhood as a boy. In Afghanistan there is a widespread practice of girls dressing as boys to play the role of a son. These children are called bacha posh: literally "girls dressed as boys." This practice offers families the freedom to allow their child to shop and work—and in some cases, it saves them from the disgrace of not having a male heir. But in adolescence, religion restores the natural law. The girls must marry, give birth, and give up their freedom. Ukmina decided to confront social and family pressure and keep her menswear. This brave choice paved the way for an extraordinary destiny: she wages war against the Soviets, assists the mujaheddin and ultimately commands the respect of all whom she encounters. She eventually becomes one of the elected council members of her province. But freedom always has a price. For "Ukmina warrior" that price was...
An investigative journalist uncovers a hidden custom in Afghanistan that will transform your understanding of what it means to grow up as a girl. In Afghanistan, a culture ruled almost entirely by men, the birth of a son is cause for celebration and the arrival of a daughter is often mourned as misfortune. A bacha posh (literally translated from Dari as “dressed up like a boy”) is a third kind of child--a girl temporarily raised as a boy and presented as such to the outside world. Jenny Nordberg, the reporter who broke the story of this phenomenon for the New York Times, constructs a powerful and moving account of those secretly living on the other side of a deeply segregated society where women have almost no rights and little freedom. The Underground Girls of Kabul is anchored by vivid characters who bring this remarkable story to life: Azita, a female parliamentarian who sees no other choice but to turn her fourth daughter Mehran into a boy; Zahra, the tomboy teenager who struggles with puberty and refuses her parents’ attempts to turn her back into a girl; Shukria, now a married mother of three after living for twenty years as a man; and Nader, who prays with Shahed, the undercover female police officer, as they both remain in male disguise as adults. At the heart of this emotional narrative is a new perspective on the extreme sacrifices of Afghan women and girls against the violent backdrop of America’s longest war. Divided into four parts, the book follows those born as the unwanted sex in Afghanistan, but who live as the socially favored gender through childhood and puberty, only to later be forced into marriage and childbirth. The Underground Girls of Kabul charts their dramatic life cycles, while examining our own history and the parallels to subversive actions of people who live under oppression everywhere.
George Bernard Shaw once said that reasonable people adapt themselves to the world but unreasonable people adapt the world to themselves. In a sense, this book explores how these so-called ‘unreasonable people’ may interact to re-fashion the world around them in fragile economic development. Drawing on empirical research in the volatile and traditional context of Afghanistan, the study investigates the challenge of poor women’s participation in business and diverse outcomes for local development. Institutional Innovation and Change in Value Chain Development takes a unique look at nuanced institutional phenomena through the lens of social institutions, with a subtle appreciation of the interaction of structure and agency. Drawing on in-depth qualitative research in Afghanistan, the case studies specifically investigate the transformation of the women’s norm of purdah, and the subsequent development of new market institutions in three women’s enterprises. Shedding new light on the opaque process of institutional change, the research shows that external actors (such as NGOs) can both initiate and guide institutional development in fragile environments. Yet there may be limitations to their endeavours, with strong resistance from local power holders. Meanwhile, dominant entrepreneurs are shown to play a major role in fostering institutional development pathways. This influences the scope of inclusion and exclusion in enterprise and value chains, and broader streams of socio-economic development.
Perfect for fans of Rita Williams-Garcia, Thanhha Lai, and Rebecca Stead, internationally bestselling author Nadia Hashimi’s first novel for young readers is a coming-of-age journey set in modern-day Afghanistan that explores life as a bacha posh—a preteen girl dressed as a boy. Obayda’s family is in need of some good fortune, and her aunt has an idea to bring the family luck—dress Obayda, the youngest of four sisters, as a boy, a bacha posh. Life in this in-between place is confusing, but once Obayda meets another bacha posh, everything changes. Their transformation won’t last forever, though—unless the two best friends can figure out a way to make it stick and make their newfound freedoms endure. Nadia Hashimi’s first novel for adults, The Pearl That Broke Its Shell, was a bestseller that shares a bacha posh character with One Half from the East.
An investigative journalist uncovers a hidden Afghan custom that will change your understanding of what it means to grow up as a girl. Expanding on her widely read New York Times article "Afghan Boys Are Prized, So Girls Live the Part," in which she uncovered the phenomenon of bacha posh (literally "dressed up like a boy" in Dari), the practice of disguising and raising young girls as boys, Jenny Nordberg constructs a powerful and moving account of the long-standing tradition that has enabled many girls to counter the challenges they face in a deeply segregated society where they have almost no rights. Through extensive in-depth reporting and first-person interviews, Nordberg offers a fascinating, almost fairy-tale-like look at how girls can be willed into looking, behaving, and acting as boys, why mothers would ask that of their daughters, and what ultimately happens when some girls do not want to rescind the prerogatives that go along with living as boys, and later as men. Divided into four parts, following strong characters through childhood, puberty, married life, and childbirth, The Underground Girls of Kabul charts the entire life cycle of Afghan women and gets to the heart of how bacha posh has profoundly affected generations, not only in the greater historical and political context of Afghanistan but also what it means to women everywhere now.
Cabul, 2007. com um pai toxicodependente e sem um único irmão, Rahima e as irmãs só podem frequentar a escola esporadicamente e mal lhes é permitido sair de casa. A Rahima, resta a esperança proporcionada pela bacha posh, uma prática antiga através da qual as raparigas podem ser tratadas como rapazes, e adotar o seu comportamento, até terem idade para casar. Como filho, ela pode ir à escola, ao mercado e sair à rua para acompanhar as irmãs mais velhas. Rahima não é a primeira da família a seguir esta prática pouco comum. Shekiba, sua trisavó, já o fizera um século antes para tentar salvar-se. Os destinos das duas cruzam-se numa história, ao mesmo tempo, bela e triste que nos fala da condição feminina num ambiente hostil. o que acontecerá a Rahima quando tiver idade para se casar? Como sobreviverá? e Shekiba, terá ela conseguido construir uma vida nova e mais digna?
Afghan-American Nadia Hashimi's literary debut novel is a searing tale of powerlessness, fate, and the freedom to control one's own fate that combines the cultural flavor and emotional resonance of the works of Khaled Hosseini, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Lisa See. In Kabul, 2007, with a drug-addicted father and no brothers, Rahima and her sisters can only sporadically attend school, and can rarely leave the house. Their only hope lies in the ancient custom of bacha posh, which allows young Rahima to dress and be treated as a boy until she is of marriageable age. As a son, she can attend school, go to the market, and chaperone her older sisters. But Rahima is not the first in her family to adopt this unusual custom. A century earlier, her great-great grandmother, Shekiba, left orphaned by an epidemic, saved herself and built a new life the same way. Crisscrossing in time, The Pearl the Broke Its Shell interweaves the tales of these two women separated by a century who share similar destinies. But what will happen once Rahima is of marriageable age? Will Shekiba always live as a man? And if Rahima cannot adapt to life as a bride, how will she survive?
Biography & Autobiography by Amayanabo Opubo Daminabo