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The Underground Girls of Kabul: The Hidden Lives of Afghan Girls Disguised as Boys

by Jenny Nordberg - £8.99  Little, Brown Book Group (2015)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9781844087754 | ISBN 10: 1844087751

Uncovers the hidden true story of the age-old tradition of 'Bacha Posh' - girls masquerading as boys - in a society that does not value females.
 
An Afghan woman's life expectancy is just 44 years, and her life cycle often begins and ends in disappointment: being born a girl and finally, having a daughter of her own. For some, disguising themselves as boys is the only way to get ahead.
 
Nordberg follows women such as Azita Rafaat, a parliamentarian who once lived as a Bacha Posh, the mother of seven-year-old Mehran, who she is raising as a Bacha Posh as well, but for different reasons than in the past. There's Zahra, a teenage student living as a boy who is about to display signs of womanhood as she enters puberty. And Skukria, a hospital nurse who remained in a Bacha Posh disguise until she was twenty, and who now has three children of her own.
 
Exploring the historical roots of this tradition, The Underground Girls of Kabul is a fascinating and moving investigation.

(Price & availability last checked: June 2015)

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Featured book: Recommended books for Yuletide 2015!,
In booklists: Afghanistan, Gender and Gender Theory,
In categories: World - Asia, Feminism & Women, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexuality & Transgender, Men & Masculinity,

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