WORLD NEWS
08/31/2017 01:29 pm ET Updated Sep 05, 2017

Photos Show The Reality Of Women's Lives In Rural Afghanistan

Hardships and yet smiles.

Afghanistan is teeming with the untold stories of half of its population. Sahar Speaks gives a rare and revealing look into Afghan women’s lives, as reported by Afghan women on the ground.

Most of Afghanistan’s people live in rural areas, in villages far from the cities. People are poor, medical facilities are distant and life is hard. For the women, life is even harder.

Most women have no access to education or health care. They can be completely in the dark about their rights. Their daily jobs are often in agriculture, taking care of livestock, hauling water. This has always been a part of their life.

I wanted to show the story of the women and their daily lives in the central Bamiyan region. They live in small, dusty villages, much unchanged in hundreds of years. These women, alongside men, carry out demanding jobs and tasks with low-quality equipment, yet they never seem to tire. I often have been touched by how they still manage to smile despite incredible hardships.

  • Razia is responsible for cooking meals three times a day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Here she is carrying bushes in a ba
    Najiba Noori / Sahar Speaks
    Razia is responsible for cooking meals three times a day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Here she is carrying bushes in a basket to the kitchen.
  • Feroza, 30, lives with her small family in the Yakawlang subdistrict in Bamyan. Every other day, she bakes bread in her tradi
    Najiba Noori / Sahar Speaks
    Feroza, 30, lives with her small family in the Yakawlang subdistrict in Bamyan. Every other day, she bakes bread in her traditional oven while her husband and son accompany her.
  • Rahima, 50, and her 14-year-old daughter go to the stable to milk their cow.
    Najiba Noori / Sahar Speaks
    Rahima, 50, and her 14-year-old daughter go to the stable to milk their cow.
  • Sakina Mohammad and Razia Khudada are neighbors in Bamiyan. Every now and then they go up to their roof to spin wool. They us
    Najiba Noori / Sahar Speaks
    Sakina Mohammad and Razia Khudada are neighbors in Bamiyan. Every now and then they go up to their roof to spin wool. They use the wool fiber to make carpets. 
  • After sowing and cultivation stops, Hamida, 45, right, here with her mother-in-law and children, sews and creates handcr
    Najiba Noori / Sahar Speaks
    After sowing and cultivation stops, Hamida, 45, right, here with her mother-in-law and children, sews and creates handcrafts. 
  • This young Hazara girl turns milk into butter. She takes the yogurt, pours it into the "mashk" and shakes the container. Afte
    Najiba Noori / Sahar Speaks
    This young Hazara girl turns milk into butter. She takes the yogurt, pours it into the "mashk" and shakes the container. After an hour, the yogurt changes to buttermilk and then butter, which she uses it daily for her family.
  • Razia, 50, lives in the Yakawlang district of Bamiyan Province. Throughout the year, she cooks for her family with a traditio
    Najiba Noori / Sahar Speaks
    Razia, 50, lives in the Yakawlang district of Bamiyan Province. Throughout the year, she cooks for her family with a traditional fireplace fueled by twigs.
  • Because there are no water pipes to households, most of the teenage girls take dishes and clothing to nearby springs and rive
    Najiba Noori / Sahar Speaks
    Because there are no water pipes to households, most of the teenage girls take dishes and clothing to nearby springs and rivers for washing.
  • Several times a day, Masooma, 27, carries water on her head from a source more than half a mile from her home. 
    Najiba Noori / Sahar Speaks
    Several times a day, Masooma, 27, carries water on her head from a source more than half a mile from her home. 
  • A woman from the Hazara community in central Afghanistan.
    Najiba Noori / Sahar Speaks
    A woman from the Hazara community in central Afghanistan.
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