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Women of Afghanistan

Salima Masan girl age 12
12 year old girl who lost her family in a bombing

This site is done in the memory of the women who have lived and suffered in Afghanistan and those who have died under the Taliban rule. Each photo tells a story.

The Burkha
A full-cover robe or dress worn by Muslim women who maintain purda, the screening of women's bodies from public observation

After the war women were able to start learning in classes. Blue Burka Woman on side of road

The Chador
The black cloth (veil and shawl) that covers the head and face of the demure by Muslim and Hindu woman and sizzles her in tropical heat while protecting her from lecherous looks. Usually part of a head-to-toe black outfit. Foreigners travelling in Muslim countries with similarly clad wives (in order to be in compliance with local laws) are not unknown to have lost them in a crowd thus. Also known as the chador.

Woman wearing the traditional Chador to cover everything but their eyes.

Women's dress in Islamic culture is based on a principle of female modesty. Customs of the time, place, and social class of the woman influence what she might wear. Some options include hijab -- or modest, loose clothing and a scarf over the head and under the chin -- and burqa or burka, a more complete covering of the head, face and body.

Afghan women typically wear a two-piece outfit consisting of loose trousers worn under a tunic with a high neck and long sleeves, fitted loosely at the waist and extending below the knees, with the straight skirt slit up both sides for ease of movement. Many women complete the outfit with a long scarf that covers the head when modesty is required, but is at other times gracefully draped across the shoulders, called the hijab . Some women wear a chador , a garment that completely covers the head, shoulders, and face except for the eyes.

The burkha or burqa that the Taliban required women to wear in public is a tent-like garment that covers the woman from head to foot. The part covering the head is tight, to keep in place a mesh panel, out of which the woman sees; the rest is voluminous, gathered in back in pleats that allow freedom of movement. The woman maneuvers the garment with her hands, so that the mesh panel stays in front of her eyes. When modesty is not needed, the whole front part of the burkha can be tossed over the head.

After the burqa comes the bindi
The militant outfit Lashker-e-Jabbar followed up its fiat to Muslim women to wear burqa (veil) with a diktat to non-Muslim women living in Kashmir to apply bindi on their foreheads and don saffron-colored dupattas for identification. They were, however, exempted from wearing the veil.

Chador with Bindi

The little known outfit asked Hindu and Sikh ''sisters'' to have some identification marks to avoid any action it might take against Muslim women who defy their ‘orders'. In a statement issued in Srinagar on Saturday, it asked Hindu women to apply bindi on their foreheads and Sikh sisters to wear saffron-colored dupattas.

Lashker-e-Jabbar also confirmed a directive to the transporters to reserve 50 per cent seats in their vehicles for women to discourage traveling of men and women sharing one seat.

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old woman starving in street women who were lucky, escaped the Taliban regime go to page three