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In Afghanistan, women and children after

In Afghanistan, women and children after

“Say mom, I’m 6, and I don’t want to marry the gentleman, even if he gives you a lot of money”. Under the Taliban regime, we obviously question the rights of women but also that of children, just as worrying and even more crying on Boxing Day. Thibault Lefèvre, major reporter for France Inter is returning from Afghanistan.

When he arrives in Kabul, he is especially struck by misery, a level of poverty that leads to recurrent, almost aggressive begging. In the streets of the capital or even in Kandahar and in the remote provinces, it is the same observation, children reach out and seek to feed themselves. Seasonal jobs no longer exist and an exceptional drought has cracked the earth which has produced nothing. No income for the fathers of families who hoped to collect some coins by working in the fields.

So one of the main sources of income that is needed is the dowry. In this patriarchal society and in the Pashtun tradition, it is a custom. Which is denounced, but which is not inherent in Sharia law. Taliban or not, the young girl is promised to a man from her adolescence.

Young girls who grow up without being educated and women who can no longer walk alone in the streets under Taliban governance. A real problem for women who had obtained a divorce in Kabul in recent years and who have to get by without men. The rights of women and children are therefore trampled on.

Poetry remains for women. The “landai” a two-line form, easy to memorize and convey by voice. We recite it, we learn it, we repeat it. It must be eye-catching. It is the language of the heart and of the guts. Without artifice and at the risk of their lives.

Taliban, you forbid me to go to school. I will never become a doctor. Think about one thing: one day you will get sick.

Of Afghanistan’s 15 million women, 11 million live in rural areas in remote areas. And 700,000 of them, or about 5% of the female population have reached in recent years a level of studies similar to the bac. So, this “landai”, they use it a bit like a rap which expresses a series of frustrations impossible to contain. Forced to marry young to a man, often an older one whom they do not want, these women thus express their refusal.

“Making love to an old man is like kissing a flabby corn stalk blackened with mold”

Zarmima is a martyr figure. She called to recite “landai” to her friends. But one day, her parents caught her reciting a love quatrain. They did not support what amounted to an adulterous crime. They beat her and locked her up. She set herself on fire. What is expressed in these poems is to prefer death to the life they must lead.

I am like a tulip in the desert. I die before I open up. And the desert breeze scatter my petals “.

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