A Man’s World

A Man’s World

Widows in Afghanistan are society's ultimate outcasts. Meet two women who are challenging the odds. (NYT)

After three decades of war, Afghanistan is one of the world’s widow capitals. It is estimated that one out of every 7 Afghan females is a widow. The average life expectancy for Afghan women is 45.

Without a man, these women are ridiculed as prostitutes when they go shopping, and many are unable to rent their own homes. They cannot live alone and if they work to earn money, their property will be seized. Even their children may be taken away from them.

In this New York Times video, we meet two women trying to change the dire condition of widows. Fatima Gailani is president of the Afghan Red Crescent Society, which provides support and runs a shelter for widows and their children.

Another woman, identified only by her first name, Akala, is 38 and lives in the shelter. She is determined to get an education, become a teacher and better her life. After her husband’s death in the war, Akala’s children became property of his family and were taken away from her. She says she will be happy only when the insecurity she sees on the faces of women is gone.

CHANNEL: New York Times

Length: 7:06

Produced by Adam B. Ellick