This article provides an overview of the role and rights of women in Afghanistan. Strict rules of conduct, poor living conditions, poverty, abusive environments, and travel limitations place heavy burdens on Afghan women. However, since the fall of the Taliban, there have been significant improvements in opportunities for Afghan women and girls. The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited. Association for Asian Studies. Reprinted with permission of the Association for Asian Studies, Inc. For information on user permissions, please read our Terms of Service. If you have questions about licensing content on this page, please contact ngimagecollection natgeo.
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They say one never forgets a face. One face hundreds of millions of people will never forget is that of year-old Sharbat Gula. Captured by National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry in a refugee camp in , her piercing green eyes captivated the world and spotlighted the plight of millions of Afghan refugees in Pakistan who had fled the brutal conflict between Soviet occupying forces and the Afghan mujahidin. Expand Visitors look at the "Afghan Girl" photo during U. Thirty-two years later, Sharbat is once again in the limelight, but for all the wrong reasons. But Sharbat is not the only Afghan who has failed to secure official refugee status in Pakistan. Over the years, millions of Afghans have sought shelter in Pakistan as their country became ravaged by conflict. Some 1. An estimated 1 million more, who were unable to get even this limited status, have been forced to live in constant fear of arrest and deportation. Many, like Sharbat, have bribed officials to get false identity cards.
All rights reserved. What was her name? Had she survived? They showed her photograph around the refugee camp in Pakistan where McCurry had encountered her as a schoolgirl in December Finally, after some false leads, a man who had also lived in the camp as a child recognized her. Yes, she was alive. She had left the camp many years before and was living in the mountainous Tora Bora region of Afghanistan. He said he could find her, and three days later he and a friend brought her back to the camp.
An Afghan woman whose photograph as a young refugee with piercing green eyes was published on the cover of National Geographic in , becoming a symbol of the turmoil of war in Afghanistan, was arrested on Wednesday in Pakistan on charges of fraudulently obtaining national identity cards. The woman, Sharbat Gula, was arrested at her residence in the northwestern city of Peshawar after more than a year of investigation , said Shahid Ilyas, the assistant director of the Federal Investigation Authority. The arrest came as the Pakistani authorities were cracking down on Afghans with illegal national identity cards. The authorities said Ms. Gula had illegally obtained a Pakistani identity card in and a computerized identity card in , while retaining her Afghan passport, which she used in to travel to Saudi Arabia for the hajj. Her arrest goes to the heart of an ordeal confronting many Afghan refugees who fled across the border into Pakistan because of decades of war.