Sunday, December 14

The Underground Girls of Kabul by Jenny Nordberg

Afghanistan is a country ruled by men, and so the birth of a son brings honor and joy to a family, whereas a girl is considered a disappointment. When a family has multiple girls and no boys, they are looked down on by their family and friends. But not all families choose to live in shame. When a daughter is born they raise her as a boy, and present her as a boy, until she is older, a practice called bacha posh.

Award winning Journalist, Jenny Nordberg, first brought this phenomenon to light for the New York Times. In The Underground Girls of Kabul, she follows several women who participate in this activity. They range from a female politician who poses her youngest daughter as a boy, to a girl who is resisting her parent’s efforts to transition her back into a girl, to a woman who lived for 20 years as a boy but is now a married mother of three.