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Afghan women's experiences during the Taliban regime Jaghori, Beheshta 2009

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AFGHAN WOME,N'S EXPERIENCESDURNG THE TALIBAN REGIME  by Beheshta Jaehori B.Sc.(Hon.),Universityof Toronto,2001  A THESISSUBMITTEDIN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FORTHE DEGREEOF MASTEROF ARTS  in The Facultyof GraduateStudies (CounsellingPsychology)  THE LINIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLLMBIA  (Vancouver) August,2009  @ BeheshtaJaghori,2009  Abstract A plethoraof researchhas depictedAfghan women during the Talibanreign in a varietyof ways, ranging from oppressed"victims of the burqa" to heroic "social actors." In this study, I examinedthe lived experiencesof women in Afghanistanunder the Talibanregime,as articulatedby ordinarywomen themselves.Data from 11 women were gatheredthrough the use of individual interviews,and analyzedusing Miles and Hubermans'(1994) analyticframework.Themesemergedthat describedthe Taliban regime'spoliciesregardingAfghan women,the overallresponsesof women to the policies,includingthe impactof thosepoliciesat the time (1996-2001),the ongoing impact,and the situationof women in the post-Talibanera. The Talibanregime's anti-womenpoliciesdeniedwomen education,employment, and freedomof movement.Thosewho committedany infractionswere met with severe punishment.The impact of thesepoliciesled to variouspsychologicaleffects,including: anxiety,fear,and synptoms of depressionandposttraumaticstress.Despitethe condemnablerestrictions,Afghan women's agency,no matterhow limited, was present and continuouslyexercisedon differentoccasions.Despitethe gainsfor somewomen, eightyearsafter the removal of the Talibanregime,Afghan women still do not appearto havemadesubstantiveprogresswith regardto oppressivecustoms,violence,and their positionin Afghan society.The studyresultsand their analysisis especiallytimely, given the increasingTaliban insurgencyin Afghanistan,and the looming possibility of a resurrectedTalibanrule in the countrv.  111  Table of Contents Abstract  . . . . . . .i.i.  Tableof Contents..  Acknowledgments.... C h a p t e rO n e : I n t r o d u c t i o n .  ....iii  . . . . . .v i i i .........1  Situatingthe Researcher  .....2  Summary.....  .....4  ChapterTwo: LiteratureReview  .....5  Backgroundon Afghanistan .  ......5  Taliban  .....7  Genesis andriseto power  ........1  Pakistan'the architect'  ............7  Pashtun sympathies...  ........ 8  Powerandcontrol.. Makingwomendisappear...... An endto healthcare Coverlmedicalsurvey Mentalhealthcrisis  ..........8 ......9 .......10 .......... 11 ......12  Women'scopingstrategies andresilience.....  ....18  Afghanistan:Post-Taliban  ....23  Insurgency...  ...23  I n s e c u r i t.y. . .  ......24  IV  Womenandgirls Summary..... ChapterThree:Method Paradigm QualitativeResearch  ....24 ....25 ...27 ..........27  FeministApproachto the Research  ...28  Marginalizationas a GuidingConcept  ....29  lnterviews.....  .......30  Participants..  ..........33  DataAnalysis  ....... 35  CodingCollectedData.  ........36  EnsuringTrustworthiness of Data The Process of Reflexivity...  ....38 ......40  ChapterFour:Findings  .....41  Demographics  .......43  EmergingThemes.....  ...46  Taliban'spoliciesregardingAfghanwomen.....  .......46  Denialof education .  ......46  Imposotionof strictdresscode  ....47  B a no n w o r k  ,.....50  Restrictions on mobility  .......50  Accessto healthcare  ......52  Forcedprayers  ........52  Privatesphere.  ..........53  V  Punishments.  ...54  Discrimination basedon ethnicity..  .....56  Degreesof suffering.  ....57  Impactof Taliban'sPolicieson AfghanWomen Psychological impact Long-termeffects.  ..........59 .....59 ........... 61  P o s i t i v ei n f l u e n c e . . . . .  .......61  Copingandresistance  ....62  Divertingactivities...  .......64  Genderdifferences in coping  ........64  DiversityAmongstTaliban....  ....65  Post-Taliban  .........66  C h a p t eFr i v e :D i s c u s s i o n . . .  ...........70  Fit with ExistingLiterature..... Implicationsfor Practice..  .........71 ....75  Directionsfbr FutureResearch  ..........77  L i m i t a t i o n.s. .  ..........79  References.... A p p e n d i c e. s  ....82 ........90  A: InterviewQuestions  ....... 90  B : I n t e r v i e wG u i d e . . . . .  .......91  C: InformedConsentForm  .......94  D: List of MulticulturalSupportandCounsellingResources ...  .........96  Vi E: Recruitment Letterto PotentialParticipants F : T e l e p h o nQ e uestions.....  ......97 .........99  G: DemographicInformation.  . 100  H: Sampleof TalibanDecreesRelatedto Women...  .. I 0 1  I: ResearchEthicsCertificate  . 103  vii List of Tables Table1: Themesof the Findings Table2: DemographicInformation .  ..........42 .-.45  vlll  Acknowledgments  I would like to expressmy heartfeltgratitudeto the courageousand selfless womenwho generouslygavetheir time to answermy questionsand sharedtheir stories. Without their candorand insight,this researchendeavourwould not havebeenpossible. am gratefulto my supervisor,Dr. Norm Amundson and my thesiscommitteemembers, Dr. Marla Buchanan,Dr. Rod McCormick, and Dr. Marv Westwood.Their supportand guidancewas invaluable throughoutthe researchprocess.Thank you Dr. Amundson for your enthusiasmand encouragement,and for being a constantsourceof support.Many thanksto Dr. Buchananfor her methodologicalexpertiseand critical eye,which helped steerme in the right direction.Thank you to Drs. McCormick and Westwoodfor their insightand expertisein multicultural counselling. I would be remissif I did not thankmy family and friends.I am especially gratefulto my motherwhose love and supportknows no bounds.It is clearthat I could not have reachedthis far without her. My heartfeltthanks go to my dear friend, Hajera Rostam,who has alwaysbeena pillar of emotionaland academicsupport.Last but certainlynot least,I wish to thank Djawid Taherifor his excellenteditorial skills, but most importantly,for his love, which sustainedmy effort to seethis work throughto completion.  Chapter One: Introduction My project is not to entertainreaderswih one more exotic tale, or shock them with anotherastoundingrevelation about womanhoodin afaraway place. All I wish to do is to communicateanothermode of being female. But this is more easily saidthan done. Marnia Lazers.  In this introductory paragraph,Lazregwrites about the challengesof writing as an Algenanwoman aboutwomen in Algeria (Lazreg,1994,p.6). The task of a native informant is indeedgrave, and one that I have struggledwith from the moment I embarkedon this study of Afghan women. ShahnazKhan definesthe role of the native informantas "a personwho informs or explainsthe rituals or traditionsof her peoplefor the explorer,the outsider."(Khan, 2006,p. 16).My apprehensionstems the researcher, from the fact that traditionally, the work of native informantshave been usedto reinforce of third-world women, andparticularlyMuslim women (Khan, 2006).A the stereotypes numberof scholars(Khan 2006;Zine,2002)havebeganto critically analyzetherole of the nativeinformantin the processof knowledgeproduction.As such,I endeavourto continuethis tradition of "reconfiguringthe native informant'srole by making visible and challengingthe power relationsthat sustainit," and further,I especiallywould striveto "challengethe notion of neutralknowledgeandhelp to generatesomeaccountabilityin the processof writing and its reading."(Khan 2006,p. 17). Afghan women during the Taliban erahavebeen depictedin a variety of ways rangingfrom oppressed"victims of the burqa" (Armstrong,1997;Goodwin, 1998; Halbfinger, 2002;Mann,1998;Schulz,& Schulz, 1999)to heroic "social actors" Rostami-Povey,2003).The unidimensionalconstructionof Afghan (Moghadam,1994; women asbeing in needof liberationthroughthe castingoff of their veils and the  L  adoptionof Western,secularsensibilitiesis a paternalmode of imperialistfeminismthat deniesthesewomen the agencyand political maturity to act as subjectsof changeon their own terms(4ine,2002). Each of thesecompetingdiscoursesdeniesAfghan women the agencyand political maturity to define their own senseof identity and to tell their own stories.The voicesof Afghan women havebeenlargely absentfrom the mainstream mediacoverageaswell as scholarlyliteraturecoveringthe lives of Afghan women under the Talibanregime. Similarly, their uniqueneedsand challengesas well as resiliencyand This led me to dedicatemy Master'sthesisto copinghavebeenlargely unacknowledged. explorethe following questions: How did Afghan womennow living in urban centresin Canadaand the United States,experiencetife during the Taliban regime? How were they affectedby the Talibanregime?How did theyrespondto their experiences? The abovequestionswere researchedthrough in-depth interviews situatedwithin a qualitativeresearchparadigm.The philosophicalunderpinningsof an antiracistfeminist frameworkprovided guidancein conductingthis study. Theseinclude placing importance on themessuchas "social process,""participatory,""collaborative,""emancipatory," "help[ing] individualsfree themselvesfrom constraintsfound in the media,in language, in work procedures,and in relationshipsof power in educationalsettings,"and finally maintaininga "reflexive or dialectical"attitude(Kimmis & Wilkinson, 1998,as cited in Creswell,2005,p. 556). Situating the Researcher I was born in Afghanistan.At 9 yearsof age,I was forced to flee the country with my family, which involved the loss of varioussourcesof validation for all of us, including,  3 and the house my extendedfamily, relativesand friends,almostall of our possessions, wherewe all had sharedmany meaningfulmemories.We were to join approximately3 million Afghan refugeesin the borderingcountryof Pakistan.Soonour lives were cultureshock,trauma,discriminationand an urgentneedto permeatedby uprootedness, survive and learn new things. My family grew into a cohesivewhole as we all tried to make senseof the new contextsin which we were at onceimmersed. I was taughtlessonsof patience,hope,and resiliencein the faceof adversityand instability. I haveretainedcloseties to my homelandby volunteeringwith variousnongovemmentalorgantzationson genderissues,economicdevelopment,and the promotion of peaceboth in Afghanistanand in the diaspora.My aims havebeento educateothers aboutthe political, socialand cultural andmyself aboutmy history and to raiseawareness issuesin Afghanistan.Despitethe fact that I feel I have reachedmy comfort zone in Canada,I was highly affectedby the reportsemergingfrom Afghanistan during the Taliban regime starting in 1997. To inform myself about the war, I was engagedfor hours following the news and often wondering aboutthe dominantportrayal of Afghan women often shownaspassivevictims of war, the burqa,violenceand political repression.After the fall of the Taliban at the end of 2001,the situationof women and girls has improved. Despitethis progress,however,the fact that women in many parts of the country continue to facegrossviolationsof their rights is a matterof graveconcern. However,in the eyes of the Westerndominantmedia,thesewomen arenow liberated(Khattak,2004). Their liberationhad been achievedthrough their transformationinto consumersof Western beautyproducts,as one Gazetteheadlineproclaimed"Makeoverrush after the burka" (Halbfin ger,2002). The implicit messagethat I drew from that article was that the  4 enduringfreedom of the capitalistworld hasbeen safeguardedagainstevil; Afghan women have now been releasedfrom the centuries-oldtraditions of tribal Islam and given accessto a life of liberationand modernitythroughconsumption.Over time,  'they'  'us'. will becomemore like reassuringly Now as a graduatestudentin CounsellingPsychology,I have often wonderedwhat it hasbeen like for the Afghan women who witnessedand experiencedlife during the Taliban regime. To find out the answersfor myself as an Afghan in exile, I embarkedon this researchprojectto broadenmy perspectiveof the variouschallengesand the unique needsof the Afghan women. Situatingoneselfwithin a qualitative designrequiresthe researcherto suspendhis or her assumptions.I hope that this attitude somewhatenabledme not to imposemy own biasesand understandingof war and conflict on the participants. Throughoutthis research,I attemptedto attendto alternativeexperiencesand stories, particularlybearingwitnessto participants'resiliencyand copingpatternsduring times of graveadversity. Summary The voices of Afghan women havebeen largely absentfrom the mainstream mediacoverageas well as scholarlyliteraturecoveringthe lives of Afghan women during the Talibanregime. In addition,the impact of thesewomen's experiencesduring this asto the existenceor natureof time periodhasnot beencataloguedor researched potentialpsychologicalimpact on them living in diaspora-- for example,thoseliving in the GreaterToronto Area of Canada. Through a qualitative design,this study aimedto bring forth the storiesof Afghan women as they experiencedlife during the Taliban regime.  ) Chapter Two: Literature Review In order to examineAfghan women's experiencesduring the Taliban regime, it is importantto contextuahzethe study with brief backgroundinformation on Afghanistan. Background on Afghanistan After more than three decadesof conflict, the American-ledbombardmentof Afghanistanbrought attentionto a country recognizedas one of the poorestand most impoverishedin the world. Following the Sovietinvasion rn1979, Afghanistanis markedby a history of violent conflict, which prior to the eventsof September1ltn, 2001, was charactenzedas part regional proxy war and part civil war. Much like other countries,the underlyingcausesand dynamicsof the country'spolitical instability are numerousand interlocking(Anderson,1999;Pederson,2002).They includethe competingagendasof regional powers, ethnic tensions,an expandingwar economyand widespreadpoverty. This history of conflict hasled to the loss of over two million innocentlives, massdisplacementof roughly eight million, and the breakdownof state and civil society servicesand institutions (Atmar & Goodhand,2002). Afghans still form the largestrefugeepopulationin the world, with more than 65 % of refugeesbeing women and children. However, nearly two million of them have returnedto their homeland,most of them from neighbouringPakistanand Iran (Human Rights Watch, 2008). With the fall of the Taliban regime and the establishmentof a democraticallyelectedgovernment,therearoseconsiderableoptimism for political stability in the country. However, today, with the increasingrise in Taliban and other anti-government insurgencygroups,as well as the concomitantrestrictionsto internationalassistance,  6 thereremainslittle hope for much meaningful changein Afghanistan.Millions lack the meansto buy their own food, and it is estimatedthat nearly 1.8 million are dependenton food aid. The country'sbasichealthcare,educationand socialservicesare in desperate needof repair; and theseconditions are further exacerbatedby damagedtransportation and communicationsystems,widespreadphysicaland socialinsecurity,and weak communityand civil societycapacity(tIN News Service,2009). During the pasttwo decades,the Afghanshavebeenthe collectivevictims of war. However,the main losers of the foreign-backedwars in Afghanistanhave beenmainly women and children. Women in particular have had to bear the brunt of thesehardships. Due to a healthinfrastructure,a largeproportionof the populationlacks accessto devastated healthcarefacilities, thus significantly underminingthe health of women and children. Maternalmortality claims 1600women per 100,000births in the country (LINDP, 2009). Furthermore,underthe oppressiverule of the Taliban,women were deprivedof their most basichumanrights, consequentlydeterioratingtheir mental,social,physical,and economicwell-being. Banned from furthering their education,women have been systematicallydeniedbasic literacy (14% literacyrate) and strippedof all opportunitiesin skills andprofessionaldevelopment(UNICEF, 2009). Estimatedat more than 60% of the total population,the vast majority of Afghan women were prohibited from working outsidethe home,and deniedaccessto public space.As a result,women were barred from making constructivecontributionsto the overallwell- being of their society, restrictedin providing income for householdsecurity,and preventedfrom becoming independentand self-reliant(LINIFEM AfghanistanUpdate,2005). It is importantto look systematicallyinto a number of factorsto fully comprehendthe plight of women and  girls in Afghanistanunder the Taliban, "whose war on them" has been seenas "arguably the worst in recordedhistory" (Schulz& Schulz,1999,p. 237). Taliban Genesisand rise to power The Taliban first cameto prominencein the autumnof 1994.Their leaderwas a village clergymanMullah Mohammad Omar, who lost his right eye fighting the occupyingforcesof the SovietUnion in the 1980s(Rashid,2001).Their targetwas the feudingwarlords known as the Mujahideenwho had forced the Soviet troops out of the country.The Taliban'spromisewas to restorepeaceand securityand enforceSharia,ot Islamic |aw, oncein power. Afghans,weary of the Mujahideen'sexcessesand infighting, generallywelcomedthe Taliban. Their earlypopularitywas largely due to their success in stampingout comrption, curbing lawlessnessand making the roads and the areasunder their control safefor commerce(Rashid,2001). From their birthplace in the province of Kandaharin south-westernAfghanistan, the Taliban quickly extendedtheir influence.They capturedthe province of Herat, borderingIran, in September1995. Exactly one year later,they capturedthe capital, Kabul, after overthrowingthe regime of PresidentBurhanuddin.By 1998,the groupwas of Afghanistan(Rashid,2001). in controlof almostg0o/o Pakistan "the architect" of the Taliban'semergencehaveremainedthe centreof The circumstances controversialdebate.Despiterepeateddenials,Pakistanis seenas the architectof the Talibanenterprise.Suspicionsaroseearly on when the Talibanwent to the rescueof a pakistani convoy strandedin Kandaharfollowing attacksand looting by rival Mujahideen  8 groups.Many of the Afghans who joined the Taliban were educatedrn madra.ssd's (religiousschools)in Pakistan(Rashid,2001). Pakistanwas also one of only three countries,along with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates,which recognizedthe Talibanregimealmostimmediatelyupon the group'scapturingof the capital,Kabul. It was also the last country to break diplomatic ties with the Taliban, and even that, after pressureby the US in the wake of eventsof September11, 2001 (Rashid,2001). Pashtunsympathies Members of the Taliban are overwhelmingly of Pashtunethnic background,the ethnicity that forms the majority of Afghanistan'sdiversepopulation and has members inhabiting the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Balochistanin neighbouring pakistan.Even now, the resurgentTaliban draw considerablesympathy from fellow pashtunsin pakistan. Someof their fugitive leadersfind refuge acrossthe long and porousborderin NWFP and Balochistan(Rashid,2001). Power and strugglefor control In many ways, the behaviourof the Taliban mirrored that of other infamous 20th century"revolutionary" groups. As with StalinistRussiaand Nazi Germany,the Taliban was driven by a need for total control and absolutepower. To gain it, it opted for the instrumentso characteristicof totalitarianregimes,using terror in showcasefashionto destroyall oppositionand any senseof hope (Schulz& Schulz, 1999). The terror was systematic,designedto paralyzeand suppressthe people of Afghanistan. Arbitrary and unspeakablereprisalswere administeredat any time, any place, for any supposed violation of Taliban laws or rules. EachFnday, spectaclesof punishmentswere meted out in ceremoniesbefore a packedstadiumof 30,000in Kabul. Theseincluded  9 beheadings,floggings, amputations,and other forms of punishments. That these punishmentswere turned into spectaclesreminiscentof ancientRome underscorethe Taliban'sdesireto propagateterror to asbroad an audienceaspossible(Schulz& Schulz, lggg).All of this was donein the nameof religion,with the Taliban usurpingthe right to interpretthe teachingsof Islam and to dispensejustice here on earth for offensesagainst heaven(Rashid,2001). " Making womendisapPear" Taliban's first edictsfor the women of Afghanistanwere closingthe girls' schools and forbiddingwomen to work outsideof the house. In public, women had to be covered from headto toe rn a chadaryor burqa,with only a meshopeningto seeand breathe through(Rasekhet al., 1998). In spiteof the Taliban'sbrutal denial of education, healthcare,and the right to work outsidethe home for girls and women, the international community did not act upon the early warning signs. When the Taliban financedtheir regimewith the saleof opium and the invitation of terroriststo use Afghanistan as a training ground,once againaction was not taken. When the Taliban finished destroying the Buddhiststatuesof Bamyan, apart of Afghanistan'sculturalheritage,in Marchz}}l, the internationalcommunityfinallybeganto takenotice(BBC,2001). But still no one took the destructionof a hospitalin Bamyanseriously;no one paid attentionwhen 12,000homeswere burnedin Bamyan;no one saw the denialof healthcareto women and loss of healthas a form of terrorism. their subsequent As mentionedearlier,theseviolationsof women's rights havebeenjustified by the Talibanin the nameof religion and culture(UNHCR, 1996;1997). However,the Taliban'sdecreesrepresenta striking departurefrom pastreligiousand culturalpractices  10 in Afghanistan.Before the Talibantook control of Kabul, schoolswere coeducational with women accountingfor 70% of the teachingforce (I-INHCR,1997). Women represented about 50% of the civil servantco{ps, and40o/oof the city's physicianswere women ([INHCR,1997). Afghan women who were oncefree to choosetheir dress, move aboutin public independently,andpursuecareerswere suddenlysubjectedto harsh punishment,usuallyin the form of summarypublic beatings,if they violated Taliban decrees,which were enforcedby the regime's"religiouspolice," membersof the Departmentfor the Propagationof Virtue and the Suppressionof Vice (LINHCR,1997). An end to healthcare In January7997,women were orderedinto segregated hospitals,but the ban was not fully enforceduntil Septemberof that sameyear (US Departmentof StateCountry Reporton Human Rights Practices,1998).However,for over threemonths,nearlyhalf a million women in Kabul had to rely solelyon one poorly equippedhospital(the Central Polyclinic) for all their healthcareneeds(Block, 1997).Only after much international uproardid the Taliban easeits restrictionson accessto hospitalsin November,1997 (Mann, 1998). However,despitethis policy reversal,women had lessaccessto hospital carethan they did beforethe Talibanhad bannedwomen from hospitals(Rasekhet al., 1998). Besidesshuttingfemalepatientsout of hospitals,the Taliban alsobannedfemale hospitalpersonnel,including physicians,nurses,pharmacists,and technicians,from working in any of Kabul's22 hospitals,until the policy reversal,at which time some were onceagainallowedback to work in the one women's hospital(Rasekhet al., 1998).  11 Covert medical survey An extensivesurvey of the effectsof war and dislocation and the impact of the Talibanregimewas carriedout by the Physiciansfor Human Rights (PHR, 1998)during a three-monthperiod using written surveysof 160women - half living in Kabul andhalf who had left Afghanistan for Pakistanwithin the year. Afghan-born PHR researcher ZolvaRasekh secretlygatheredinformation that focusedon physical and mental health, war-relatedtrauma.and the incidenceof abuseat the handsof the Taliban. The study found thatTlo/oofthe women reporteddeclininghealth,TT0Asaidthey had poor accessto heathcare(20% saidthey had none). Fifty-threepercentreported havingbeenseriouslyill and unableto seekmedicalcare. An Afghan physicianreported decliningnutrition in children,increasingratesof tuberculosis,and a high prevalenceof otherinfectiousdiseasesamongwomen and children(PHR, 1998). At Maiwand Hospital, the only maternity hospital in Kabul, PHR researchers notedsevenor eight bedsto a room and two patientssharinga bed in one room. Women given prescriptionsreportedthat they could not afford to purchasethe medicine prescribed;othershad spentdays in the hospital without any treatmentor care. alsoreportedpoor accessto healthfacilitiesdue to lack of a male chaperone Respondents refusalto treatwomen (2lo/o),no (2L%),restrictionson women'smovement(360/o), femaledoctor available(48%), or no chadoryto wear (6%). Sixty-onepercentreported that they could no longer afford treatment. Severalwomen spokeof children or female relativeswho had died due to lack of medicaltreatment(PHR, 1998).  12  Mental health crisis The yearsof war, social dislocation,and the terror engenderedby the Taliban and focusedso often on women, exacteda severeprice in termsof Afghan women's mental health. For many women, their jobs, schoolpositions,sociallives, and self-esteem "disappearedovernight" (Armstrong,1997). Suicidewas once arare phenomenonin Afghan culture. During the Taliban years,suicideby severelydepressedwomen became commonplace.A Europeandoctor in Kabul reportedwidespreadcasesof esophageal burnscausedby women swallowingbatteryacid or poisonoushouseholdcleaners "becausethey were easyto find" (Goodwin, 1998). Corroboratingthe more anecdotalevidencegatheredby journalists (Armstrong, 1997;Goodwin, 1998;Mann, 1998;Rashid,2001),the PHR study found 8l% of those surveyedreporteda decline in mental health, and42o/oexhibited post-traumaticstress disorder(PTSD); 97% were diagnosedwith major depressionand 86% showed symptomsof anxiety. Over one-fifth (21%) of the women saidthey had suicidalthoughts "extremely often" or "quite often". Thirty-five percentreportedtheir mental conditions reportedsignificantintrusive "significantlyinterferedwith daily activities";94o/o symptoms;and 95% describedincreasedarousalsymptomsof PTSD (Rasekhet al., of the women surveyedmet criteria for PTSD, 1998). Overall,the study found thatgSo/o major depression,or significantsymptomsof anxiety; 53%met criteria for two of these met criteria for all three(Rasekhet al., 1998). Their mental statewas ascribed and,37o/o to the climate of cruelty existing under the Taliban rule; and this was confirmed by 95% of thosesurveyed,citing as major factorsTaliban-imposedunemployment,lack of schools,and fear of the limited opportunitiesfor their children(Rasekhet a1.,1998).  13 The two studiescited above(PHR, 1998;Rasekhet al., 1998)usedPTSD criteria (ApA, lgg4) to assessthe level of psychologicalreactionsand responses.It is generally assumedthat PTSD capturesthe fundamentalpsychologicaldisturbanceafter any particulartype of traumaand the earlierconceptsof "post-torturesyndrome", "concentrationcamp syrdrome" and "rape trauma syndrome"have all been subsumed of within it (Bracken,1995,p.1073).PTSD embodiesa coresetof ongoingdisturbances physiologicaland psychological arousaland disturbedsleepwith recuffent nightmares, variability of mood, poor concentration,sensitivityto environmentalstimuli, and liability aspectsof the original trauma(Cash,2006).Estimatesof lifetime to re-experience prevalenceof PTSD amongspecificwesterngroupsof traumasurvivorsrangebetween 15% and,24o/o,as comparedwith 8o/orn the generalUS population(de Jong,2001).A studiescoveringsurvivorsof war have shownPTSD asthe numberof population-based with armedconflict. most likely disorderin individualsexposedto violenceassociated For example,Mollica and colleagues(1993) studied993 Cambodianrefugeeson the Thai-Cambodianborder and estimateda I5o/oPTSD prevalencerate; El Sanaj and colleagues(1 996) found PTSD among20% of 550 survivorsof torture in Gaza; and Somasundaramand Sivayokan(1994) found 14% with PTSD in a random community samplein northern Sri Lanka. Although women are rarely on the frontlines of battle, as in many other realms of of war. Many burdenof the consequences contemporarylife they bear a disproportionate have experiencedtorture firsthand or beenwitnessesto the torture or killing of family, friends,and loved ones,as was the casewith a numberof this study'sparticipants.The useof rapeand other forms of sexualtorturehasbeenwell documented(Bermanet a1.,  l4 2006).Forthosewho are forcedto flee their homesand countries,separationfrom spouses,children,and other family membersis common.United Nations Children'sFund (LINICEF,2009) has estimatedthat 80% of the victims in modernwars arewomen and children.pTSD symptomshave been found following exposureto war and organrzed violence in women in different parts of the world. Having describedthe above studies,it is imperativeto highlight the crosscultural validity and applicability of westernconceptualtzationsof reactionsto traumatic events amongothercultural groups.This taskbecomesespeciallyurgentbecauseof the extentof traumaresultingfrom war and political violencein developingnations,affectinglargely non-Westerncommunities.To begin with, it shouldbe notedthat despiteits scientific merit. PTSD is a cultural construct.As with otherconceptsdevelopedin Western psychiatry,it is important to examinethe cultural assumptionsthat are involved in the developmentof PTSD. Allan Young, a socialanthropologistwho spenttwo years observinglife at a psychiatric unit spectahzinginthe treatmentof combat-relatedPTSD, pointsto the ethicalassumptionsinvolved in suchwork (Young, 1990).What follows is an analysisof someof the assumptionsinvolved in the discourseof PTSD to questionits relevanceto communitiesin the non-westernworld. Underlyingthe conceptof PTSD is the assumptionthat the essenceof the experienceof war and atrocity can be capturedby negativepsychologicaleffectsasthey areunderstoodand categonzedin the West, to be elicited in the mental life of each individual victim. This view of traumaas an individual-centredeventbound to body or psycheis in line with the tradition in this centuryin both westernbiomedicine and westernpsychoanalysisof regardingthe singlehumanbeing as the basicunit of study  15  (Summerfield,1995). to view victims as It is simplistic to regardbeing a victim as a "pure" state,and phenomenathat can be judged "present" merepassivereceptaclesof psychopathological of mental statefeatures or,,absent,,.Whetherin clinic or populationstudies,a checklist and objectivedisorder' cannotprovide a rigorousdistinctionbetweensubjectivedistress of extremetraumais Much of the distressexperiencedand communicatedby victims and choices normal, even adaptive,and is colouredby their own active interpretations but it is a (Bracken,z00l). The featuresof PTSD arereportedlyprevalentworldwide, identified in mistaketo assumethat, becausesigns and symptomsmay be regularly This is what different social settings,they mean the samething in those settings. For one person,recurrent Kleinman calls a"category fallacy" (as cited in Bracken,2001). direct questioning;to a violent nightmaresmay be an irrelevance,revealedonly under professionalfor secondperson,they may indicatea needto visit a mentalhealth from his or her treatment;to a third, they may representa helpful message  ancestors.  doesnot It follows that pTSD, like otherpsychiatricmodelsof mental disorder, subjectivemental life easily encompassthe complex and shifting relationshipbetween as it is a functionof and observablebehaviour.Behaviouris asmuch sociallyconstructed It is thus predictable the supposedlyunique psychologicalendowmentsof any individual. to function socially,andto that a diagnosisof prSD will correlatepoorly with the ability needfor psychological keepgoing despitehardships,nor doesit necessarilyimply a veterans'shownto havea treatment.PTSD was first highlightedin u.s. vietnam war studies(centres lifetime rate of 15% after10-15yearsin one of the more comprehensive in Summerfield,1995)'By forDiseaseControl vietnam ExperienceStudy,1988as cited  16 who saw intense,although short-lived comparison,a study of British servicepersonnel fighting in the Falklands showedan evenhigher  prevalenceof PTSD five yearslater  and social lives (o'Brien & (nearlyone in four), but all subjectshad unremarkablework Hughes,1991). individualsin Nicaragua,all Accordingto Summerfield'sstudiesof war-displaced prsD features,but they were not what the survivorsof atrocitieswere found to have have concernsabout their subjectsthemselveswere attendingto. where they did  health,  that were not part of PTSD' thesegenerallytook the form of psychosomaticailments they were active and effectivein Thesepeoplewere anythingbut psychiatriccasualties; face of the continuing threat of maintainingtheir social world as best they could in the threatrendereda PTSD furtherattacks(Summerfield& Toser,l9g1). Indeed,this ,'symptom" like hypervigilancelifesaving. In a subsequentstudy of war-injured exdiagnosablePTSD were soldiersin the samecountry, three-quartersof thosewith (Summerfield & Hume, 1993)' basicallywell adjustedand functioning unremarkably cambodianwar refugeesin both comparablefindingshavebeenmade,for example,in clinic andpopulationstudies(Kinzie & Sack,1991). a socializedview of Medical modelsare limited becausethey do not embody trauma,and its aftermath,is mentalhealth(Summerfield,1995).Exposureto a massive that the traumatizedwho need not generallya private experience.It is in a social setting how victims become help revealthemselvesand that the processesthat determine (Summerfield,1995)'The caseof survivors(asthe majority do) areplayedout over time men and women returnedto find that the U.S. vietnam war veteransis instructive.These own guilt for the war and were their nation, and eventheir families, had disownedtheir  T7 blamingthem instead.Attendedby feelingsof shame,guilt, and betrayaland a senseof wastedsacrifice,the trauma of the war continuedfor them back home. In stark contrast, the British Falklandswar veteranscamehome to nationalacclaimfor an honourablejob well done(Summerfield,1995).  Survivorsreact to extremetraumain accordancewith what it meansto them. Generatingthesemeaningsis an activity that is socially,culturally, and often politically framed.Enduring, evolving over time, meaningsarewhat count rather than diagnoses. Sinceall experienceis relative,therewill be no easypredictionof how victims prioritize their personaltraumas.For instance,the debateabouttorture in western countrieshas beenconcernedwith the long-termeffectsof what is seenas an extremeviolation of individual integrity and identity (Bracken,,2001). But what of non-Westernpeopleswho have a different notion of self in its relation to othersand the supernatural?What if the maintenanceof harmoniousrelationswithin a family and community is given more significancethan an individual's own thoughts,fantasies,and aspirations?Here,the cultural emphasiswill be on dependencyand interdependencyrather than on the autonomyand individuality on which many Westernideasabout mental injury have been predicated(Bracken,2001).Most tortureworldwidedoesnot takeplaceas an isolatedact but in the contextof the destructionand terrorrzatronofwhole communities,as noted before.The meaningof tortureto manyvictims mayprimarilyrelate to the familial and socialruptureaccompanyingit. In the Philippines,women rapedby soldiersduring "lowintensity" warfare offensive end up as prostitutesin Manila, the definitive injury that rape hasinflicted on them, a catastrophicone,is social,becausethereis now no place for them in their rural communities.Sometorturesurvivorssay that this was not the worst thine  18 that hashappenedto them. They cite otherexperiences, like the ominousdisappearance of a youngerbrother,the witnessingof the gruesomedeathof a closefriend, or the destructionof their community,as having affectedthem more (Bracken,200I). Thereare proposalsfor rapecounsellingprojectsfor Bosnianrefugeesarriving in European countries.Thesewomen have all experiencedmultiple traumas,and we cannot necessarilyassumethat it is "rape victim" that primarily definesthem in their own eyes, or that the rape victim can be meaningfully separatedfrom the "bereavedmother", "widow", or "refugee".Nor can we predictwhich of theseexperiencesmay be the hardestto survivein eachwoman's case(Bracken,2001).  In summary,traumatic experienceneedsto be conceptuahzedin terms of a dynamic,two-way interactionbetweenthe individual who has experiencedtraumaand the surroundingsociety,evolving over time, and not only as a relatively static, circumscribableentity to be locatedand addressedwithin the individual psychologyof thoseaffected. Women'scopingstrategiesand resilience The harshrealities that Afghan women facedduring the Taliban regime are indeedundeniable.However,thereis more to the story of Afghan women than the one portrayingthem as passivevictims of war, violence,and political repression,to be liberatedonly by Westernmilitary intervention(with notableexceptions,for instance, Collett, 1996;Mertus, 2000;Moghadam,1994;Rostami-Povey,2003). Survival strategiesare deeplyembeddedin the materialconditionsof life. It is usuallythe poorer sectorsof societythat remain in the war-strickenareasduring times of violent conflict, while thosewith economicopportunitiesusuallymigrateelsewhere.However,  t9 significantminoritiesof professionalwomen remainedin Afghanistanor havereturnedto their country (Rostami-Povey,2003). For thesewomen, survival strategieswere based on forming networks and groupsin solidarity with poorer women. For over 20 years,and especiallyduring the Talibanrule, thesenetworksand forms of solidaritybecame mechanismsfor women's resilienceand empowerment.Many prominentwomen chose to stay in Afghanistan and work, either openly or clandestinely,towards empowering otherwomen(as well as children). For example,SorayaParlika,headof the National Union of Women of Afghanistan,becamean integralpart of the women's movement there: We witnessed22 yearsof war, terror, andbombing. We have an ancientsaying, ShenidanKay Bovad ManandeDidan (it is one thing to hear aboutsomething,but quite anotherto seeit with your own eyes). Under the Mujahidin, the weaponof one communityagainstanotherwas to attack,to jail, to rape,to hit in public the femalemembersof the other community. Under the Taliban,women were denied their basicrights to education.Throughout,we continuedour activities,openly and secretly,and this allowedus to hold handswith eachother and survive (Rostami-Povey,1998,p. 269). Otherexamplesabound. The non-governmental Women's VocationalTraining Centre hasbeenactivefor over 20 yearsand has offeredwomen in Kabul coursesin Englishand Germanas well as computerskill courses.Its activitieshave alsoprovidedcoursesin handcrafts,animal husbandry,bee-keeping,and honey making in rural areasoutside Kabul. Thesetraining opportunitieshavecreatedincome-generating activitiesfor women (Personalcorrespondence with Afghan Women's Organizatron,December,2008).  20 During the Talibanregime,the Women's Associationof Afghanistanfundedand managedsecretsewing, knitting, and handcraftcoursesfor women. As reportedby Rostami-Povey(2003),one of the leadingmembersof the organtzationexplained: Thesecoursestook place in the homesof teachers.Sometimeswe had to change our venuefor fear of persecutionby the Taliban,but we continued. Our activities enabledmanv women to make clothesand othernecessitiesfor themselvesand their families,and sometimesthey sold or exchangedtheir productswith other women (P. 270). After the fall of the Taliban,the Associationwas planningto extendits activitiesto includeliteracyclasses(Rostami-Povey,2003). The doctorsin the RabeeBalkhi Women's Hospitalwere all educatedin Kabul. Settingup the hospitalhad the advantageof allowing thesewomen to perform surgery. The physicianmanagingthe hospitalexplained: Surgerywas the domain of male doctors. During the Taliban rule, only female doctorswere allowedto attendfemalepatients. Throughoutthis period we remainedin Afghanistan and worked in the hospital with barely minimum facilitiesand without being paid. We did it to serveour peopleand the poorestof the poor in our country (p. 270). The majority of poor women in urban and rural areasnever left Afghanistan. Thosewith the necessaryskills turnedtheir homesinto undergroundschools. They were paid for theseservicesby their neighbours,friends,and families. In this w?y, they were ableto survive financially. In a group interview with 39 women in the Ministry of  2l Communication,women explainedhow they turnedtheir homesinto clandestineschools. They alsoknew the storiesof otherwomen: Ghamar jaan's husbandwas killed in the civil war. Shehad a daughter. She secretlytaughtmore than 800 studentsin her home. Many of us paid her as much as we could, sometimes20,000Afghani f(approximatelyUS1.85 in 2002)] a month to teachour children. This was very little money- shecould hardly managethe householdexpenses- but it was better than nothing. Without her, our daughterswould havebeenilliterate(Rostami-Povey,2003;p. 27I). Underthe Talibanrule, women's activitieswere concentratedon running thesesecret schools,which could be describedas meetingthe practicalgenderneedsof women (see Molyreux, 1985;Moser, 1989). In the post-Talibanperiod,they havebegunto move towardsaddressingwomen's strategicinterestsby challengingpatriarchalgender relationsin Afghanistan. They have alsochallengedthe Westernperceptionof Muslim women,especiallyin relationto the chadoryor borqa. Rostami-Poveydescribesan interviewwith a group of 15 women at the Ministry of Women:"a woman who camein from the streetshouted, 'all I hear sincethe fall of the Taliban rs chadory, chadory, chadory (borqa, borqa, borqa). My problem is not chadory,'myproblemis that I don't haveany food to feedmyself andmy children."'(p. 272). When the researcheraskedthe women aboutthe issueof chadory,they explained that,historically,the chadoryis the traditionalcoverin most partsof the Afghanistan, especiallyin rural areas. One of the doctorsexplainedhow diversewomen's attitudes towardschadoryand other traditionswere in the pre-Talibanera: "My sisterwent to  22 schoolwith chadory,and I went to schoolwithout one...someyoung women cycledto schoolsanduniversities."(p. 273). In urbanareas,especiallyKabul, most women did not wear chadory. The Taliban imposedit on them. However,the women interviewedfelt that After five years...it had becomepart of our culture,we feel comfortablewith it. Our community and society do not acceptwomen without chadory. We will not takeit offjust becausethe Westwantsus to...Someof us may takeit off oncewe areready and our societyis ready. To be pressuredby the West to take off our chadoryis as bad as Taliban imposingit on us in the first place. We have the right to choosewhat to wear (p.273). As indicatedabove,a greatnumberof Afghan women resistedthe tragic situation and exhibited various forms of resilienceand survival strategiesto cope with traumaand overcomeadversity,evenunderthe most extremeforms of coercion. They were by no meansonly victims at anypoint in time. This assertionis not, however,to detractfrom the genderedproblemsand discriminationmost of them faced. Culturesof terror and resistancecomein many forms (Rousseauet a1.,1998;1999),and researchinitiatives shouldhelp to unlock the meaningof violenceand conflict, and explainboth the negative (i.e.,illness)and positive (i.e.,resilience)healthoutcomesof trauma. It hasbeenshown that culturaldifferences,socialstructures,and copingbehavioursmay significantly influencethe onset,course,severity,andpsychosocialoutcomesof trauma,which is why thereis an urgent need for studiesin this areaamongdifferent cultural groups(De Girolamo& McFarlane,1996). It is hopedthat this studywill shedlight on the unique by way of of Afghan women during the most restrictiveof circumstances experiences  23 highlightinglocal idioms of distressand the wide rangeof responsesto trauma,including adaptiveand strategicresponsesat the individual and collectivelevel. Afghanistan: P ost-Taliban In the sevenyearssince the fall of the Taliban regime, the governmentof Afghanistan,supportedby the internationalcommunity, has focusedconsiderable attentionon the plight of Afghan women and girls. Despitemany obstacles,women are playing a crucialrole in building a new Afghanistan,both politically and economically. They have participatedthroughoutthe country in the consultativeprocessin drafting the new constitution. Women continueto returnto the workforce in modestnumbers. The challengesfacing Afghan women have beendocumentedin numerousofficial and media reports,notably in the report of the first SecurityCouncil mission to Afghanistan The Council, in its report,drew attentionto the ongoingviolationsof (51200311074). women's rights and called on the Afghan Governmentto ensureparticipation of women in building nationalunity. Someof the ongoingchallengesare outlinedbelow. Insurgency In2007, Taliban and other anti-goveffImentforces significantly expandedtheir insurgencyin the predominantlyPashtunareasin southernAfghanistan.Casualtyrates were at least25 percenthigher than the previousyear.Civilians were increasinglycaught in fighting betweenanti-governmentforcesand governmentforces and their international supporters.Anti-governmentforcesalsoroutinelyviolate the laws of war by launching attacksfrom civilian areas,or retreatingto such areas,knowingly drawing return fire. NATO andUS-led Coalition forceskilled more than 300 civilians, althoughit is possible that the numberis higher,given the difficulty of Westernforcesin distinguishing  24 combatantsfrom civilians and their extensiveuse of airpower (Human Rights Watch, 2008). The sharpincreasein violenceindicatesthat the Talibanhave succeededin from acrossthe Pakistaniborder.It alsoreflects regrouping,with significantassistance growing resentmentby local Afghans againsta central govemmentthat fails to deliver on tacticsemployedby U.S. and coalition promisesof developmentand the heavy-handed forces(HumanRights Watch Report,2008). Insecuritv Despitethe insurgency'sgrowing strength,the majority of Afghanscited the numerousregional warlords as the greatestsourceof insecurity.In someremote areas, thereare still no real governmentalstructuresor activity; only abuseand criminal of the by warlords,many of whom were broughtto power with the assistance enterprises United Statesafterthe Taliban's defeat. Armed clashesbetweenrival factionsincreased tn 2007, in many areaswarlords and their troops continueto engagein arbitrary arrests, illegal detentions,kidnapping,extortion,torture,murder,and extrajudicialkillings of criminal suspects,forced displacement,and rapeof women, girls, and boys (HRW Report,2008). Womenand girls Women and girls continueto face severediscrimination and suffer the worst effectsof Afghanistan'sinsecurity.Conditionsarebetterthan underthe Taliban,but sevenyearslaterprogresshasbeeninadequateand too slow. Women who are activein journalists,teachers,or NGO workers,or who crrtrcrze public life as political candidates, local rulers,still face disproportionatethreatsand violence. Women and girls are subject to both formal and informal customaryjustice mechanismsthat fail to protect their rights.  25 Violenceagainstwomen and girls remainsrampant,including domesticviolence,sexual violence,and forcedmarriage.Authoritiesoften fail to investigateor prosecutethese cases.Dozensof women are imprisonedaroundthe country for "running away" from socialnorrnsby eloping.Someare abusiveor forcedmarriages,or for transgressing placedin custodyto preventviolent retaliationfrom family members.Women and girls continueto confronttight restrictionson their mobility (HRW Report,2008). The most recently available figures show that in Afghanistan,one woman dies everythirty minutes due to complicationsin pregnancyand childbirth. Maternal mortality claims 1,600women per every 100,000births in the country.According to the most recentlyavailablefigures,only 35 percentof girls of schoolageattendclasses,with only 10 percentof girls attendingsecondaryschool.In five Afghan provincesin the south,at least90 percentof school-agegirls do not attendschool(HRW Report,2008). Summary Given that most peoplehavebeenexposedto a reductionistand often biased portrayalof Afghan women during the Taliban regime, this researchaims to provide the contextto bring forth the voices and storiesof Afghan women living in Canadaand the United States.It is hoped that the participantsbenefitedfrom sharingtheir storieswith the generalpublic, including scholarsandpractitioners. The study aims to examinethe lived experiencesof Afghan women during the Talibanregime.A qualitativeresearchdesignprovidedthe meansof inquiry to the above researchobjective.Afghan women living in selecturbancentresin Canadaand United States,such as Toronto, Virginia, and Maryland were interviewed. After the interviews were analyzed.the participantswere consultedfor a secondtime for verifying the  26 accuracyof the summaryinformation.The following sectionwill include detailson the study'squalitativeparadigm,use of feministapproach,datacollectionand procedures, dataanalysis,researcher'sprocessof reflexivity, as well as informationon ways to enhancetrustworthiness.  27 Chapter Three: Method This qualitativestudy exploredthe following researchquestions:How did Afghan womennow living in selecturbancentresin Canadaand the United States,experience life during the Talibanregime?How were they affectedby the Taliban regime?How did A qualitativeresearchdesign,utilizing contentanalysis they reactto their experiences? providedthe meansof inquiry to the aboveresearchobjective. Qualitative ResearchParadigm including,the Qualitativeapproachesareknown for a numberof characteristics, importanceplacedon the lived experienceof participants,acknowledgingthe functionof context,inquiring into and challengingexisting conditions,and advancingnew ways of the world by recognizingmultiple perspectives(Barnes,1992;Morse, understanding 1991;Sandelowski,1996;Smith & O'Flynn, 2000). In addition, this form of inquiry is particularly relevantto this study as it can describeand interpret contextsin their natural settings,is inductive and provides an emic descriptionof the experiencesof participants.It alsoplacesimportanceon both the uniquenessand commonalitiesof humanexperiences(Eisner,1991;Hoepfl, 1997; Lincoln & Guba, 1985;Rostam, 2006)."A primary purposeof qualitativeresearchis to describeand clarify experienceas it is lived and constitutedin awareness." (Polkinghorne,2005,p. 138, as cited in Rostam,2004). Qualitativedesignsare increasinglyusedin public healthresearchsuchasnursingand counsellingpsychologyin orderto betterunderstandpeople'sthoughts,behaviours,and experiencesby acknowledgingmultiple realitiesof experience(Hills,2000; Morse, l99l). It can reduce  28 the power imbalancebetweenthe researcherand the participant as comparedto quantitativemethodsof inquiry (Hills, 2000). An additional significant featureof qualitativeresearchis generatingknowledge of practicalimportanceand placing emphasison utility. This aspectrelatesto the of traditionof pragmatismin psychologythat aims at looking at "the consequences actionsbasedupon particularconceptions"and suggeststhat researchis closelylinked to the social,political, historicaland otherparticularcontextsin which it occurs (Chenyholmes,1992,p.13).Therefore,the pragmatictraditionhasbeenlargely popular in counsellingpsychology,particularly,in the traditionof mixed methodresearch. Hansonand colleagues(2005) assertthat one shouldplacemore importanceon the researchquestionthan on the methodusedor theoryor paradigmoperationalized.The essentialcomponentis how bestthe researchquestioncanbe investigatedand understood and what kind of practical information is neededor simply "what works." (p. 226). Finally, pragmatistsalso do not rank order one researchapproachor methodover another,but rather emphasizethe contextuahzedoutcomesthat are of practical significance. Feminist Approach to the Research Feministresearchappliesitself to issuesthat can make a differencefor all people andhasthe potentialto empowerwomen (Parker& McFarlane,1991).A feminist approachaidsthe researchprocessby acceptingthe notion that multiple truths exist (Worell & Etaugh, 1994)and doesnot developuniversal,context-freeprinciplesof humannature(Duffy, 1985).Instead,the feministresearcheracceptsthe idea that it is throughmultiple sharedviews and honouringboth women'sdifferencesand their  29 situationsin life, that one comesto understandthe human situationmore fully (Hall & Stevens,lggl).As well, feministresearchincludesan analysisof power distributionsin regardto women'soppression(MacPherson,1983).Feministresearchreframeswomen's ways of behaving as different, rather than deficient, from traditionally male ways of being in the world (Gilligan, 1982). This feminist studyis basedon a woman'sperspective,aboutwomen and for women and focuseson the participants'strengthswhile recognizingtheir challenges.The researchquestionoriginatedfrom my own experienceof being an Afghan woman; therefore,ffiy experiencebecomespart of the researchprocess.It is through a feminist approachthat aims to reducehierarchicalrelations,that Afghan women sharedtheir storiesso that their storiescan be revealed(Duffy, 1985). Marginalization as a Guiding Concept During the Taliban regime, Afghan women were an oppressedand marginalized groupin society.Hall, Stevens,and Meleis (1994)describethe conceptof marginahzattonas a guide for qualitativeresearch.Using this concept,the "personenvironmentinterface" is highlighted and diversity from cultural norrns is valued,rather thanpathologrzed(Ha11,Stevens,& Meleis,p. 26). Keepingcognizantof marginahzation,therefore,developsknowledgeregardingvulnerable groups,ratherthan stigmatizingthem further. From the perspectiveof marginahzation,"personsare viewed as relatively different from the norm or as castout from the societalcenterto its Steven,& Meleis,p. 25). periphery"(Ha11, Using the conceptof marginahzatrontoguide researchcan lead to knowledge developmentthat was previouslyonly availableto thosepeopleliving in the margins.  30 Marginahzationas a guiding conceptgoesbeyondthe issuesof power imbalancesand exploresthe dynamicsof oppressionby recognrzingthat the marginahzedpersonis the expertin her own life. ResearchingAfghan women's experiencesfitted well with the conceptof marginaltzatton,as Afghan women lived on the periphery of societalnorrns and experiencedongoing oppression.Oppression,however,doesnot only needto be an experienceof powerlessness, as a personcan alsousemarginalityas a vehicle for resistanceto victrmrzatron(hooks, 1990). As a guide, marginahzattonassiststhe researcherto recognrzethat shewill enter into and influence the context of the researchas sheinteractswith the participantsand encourages them to sharetheir stories.It is then necessaryto interprethow this context, with the researcherbeing apart of this marginahzedgroup, will influence the study and incorporatesthe storiesinto the findings. Therefore,the use of marginahzatroncoupled with a feminist approachencouragesdepthfrom the participants'perspectiveas well as valuingthe women'svoicesasbeing "expert". Interviews Elevensemi-structured interviewswith open-endedquestions,which were 1 to 1.5hoursin lengthwere conductedto facilitatethe examinationof Afghan women's experiencesduring the Taliban regime. Prior to conductingthe interviews, the interview protocoland questionswere pilot testedon an Afghan woman who did not experiencelife underthe Talibanregime first-hand,howeverwas highly awareof the challengesfaced by the interestedpopulation.All interviewswere gatheredbetweenMay and July,2006. The interviewswere audio-tapedand transcribedverbatim.The open-endedformat of the questionsnot only attemptedto encouragethe participantsto reflect,recall, and respond  31 freely regardingthe experiencesthey had, but also allowed for individual variationsto this gavethe interviewerthe emerge.Becausetherewere no predeterminedresponses, opportunityto probe and exploreissueswithin the interview guide (Hoepfl, 1997). The featuresare: a) they Qualitativeinterviewspossessthreekey characteristics. b) the researcherpays attentionto the aremodified conventionalconversations; understanding,knowledge and insights of the participants,and c) the contentchangesto and experiences(Rubin & Rubin, 1995).The conformto what the participantunderstands conductedface-to-faceinterviews,at the women's convenienceand in a researcher locationwherethey felt most comfortable,to encouragea relaxedatmosphere.More thanhalf of the interviewswere conductedin Dari (one of the two nationallanguagesin Afghanistanand the participants' native language;the researcheris fully fluent in Dari). The Dari transcriptswere translatedby the researcherinto English in order to enable scrutiny and independentanalysisby the readers.Two independentinterpretersverified the accuracyof the translationsby randomlyback-translatingselectedparts of the transcripts. In this study, the interview beganwith a brief introduction by the interviewer aboutthe purposeof the study in general.An informed consentform (Appendix C) was presentedto participantsthat explainedthe purposeof the study,the natureof interview, confidentiality,the potentialnsks andbenefitsto the participants,and their right to withdraw from the study at any time. Sincethis studywas sensitivein nature,process consentwas negotiatedthroughoutthe courseof interviewto reducethe potentialfor harm to the participant. After consentwas obtained,participantswere askedto complete the demographicinformation sheet(seeAppendix G). Kvale (1996) distinguished  32 betweena researchversusa therapeuticinterview;the latter's function being to bring changeon the part of the participant.The aim of this study,however,was to collect beliefs,thoughts,and insights.My informationaboutthe participants'experiences, personalreflectionsand observationswere recordedfor eachinterview. This process helpedin guiding and informing the dataanalysisand the researchas a whole. The interview exploredthe following main questions:(seeInterview Guide, Appendix B) How did Afghan women now living in urban centresin Canadaand the United States,experiencelife during the Talibanregime? How were they affectedby the Talibanregime?How did they reactto their experiences?The interview questionswere followedby debriefingand sharingof a list of variousmulticultural services,and lowcostcounsellingresourcesavailablein the GreaterTorontoArea, Virginia and Maryland (AppendixD). This was donein caseparticipantsfelt distressedafter the interview, wantedto talk to someoneaboutthe relatedtopic, or if they knew someonein their community or family who might benefit from the list. As this study involved a sensitivetopic, stepswere takento minimtze the chances of retraumattzationas a result of participation.Processconsentwas negotiatedthroughout the interview, thus allowing participantsto withdraw in caseof any reactivationof trauma.Someof the suggestionsbyKavanaughand Ayres (1998) were also utilizedto minimize discomfortwhile engagingin researchon sensitivetopics.Theseincluded attendingto both verbal and nonverbalindicatorsof distressin participantsand maintaininga flexible structurewithin the interviewprocess.Similarly, cautionwas taken not to make any assumptionsaboutparticipant'sbehaviorduring the processwithout clarifying the reasonsfor their behaviour.Participantswere also encouragedto direct and  33 pacethe interviewprocess.Each interview sessionincludeda debriefingat the end.Other strategiesinvolved giving participantsa list of multiculturalresourcesas well as low cost counsellingservicesavailablein the community(AppendixD). Thus, throughoutthis research,I strived towards ensuringthe protection of participant'swelfare,privacy and confidentiality.Pseudonyrns were usedto ensure confidentiality and any other identifying information was omitted from the transcnptsfor the samepurpose. Participants A qualitativeinquiry encourages the use of a relatively small purposivesample that providesrich and in-depth information, thus capturingthe participants' perspectives The aim of this studywas to chooseparticipantswho would provide and experiences. informationon the centralquestionsof this researchas well asmultiple perspectivesthat couldbe comparedand contrasted(Patton,1990;Polkinghorne,2005). Polit andHungler (1995)recommendedthe use of snowballsamplingwhen accessto participantsis relatively difficult, that is, namely, Afghan women who lived in Afghanistan during the Taliban regime and are now living in various urban centresin Canadaand the United as away to collect a States.This strategywas coupledwith otherapproaches homogenoussamplewith divergentexperiences(Polit & Hungler, 1995). Sinceaccessto Afghan women who met the criteriawas somewhatlimited due to their small numberin Toronto,thosewho volunteeredtheir participationfor an in-depth interviewwere requestedto invite otherwomen. In addition,participantswere sought throughAfghan Woman's Organizatton,,a non-profit organtzatronbasedin Toronto (by distributing the RecruitmentLetter to PotentialParticipants(Appendix E), as well as  34 throughmy own various personalcontactsin the community. In order to avoid coercion by the agenciesor contacts,participantswere askedto directly contactthe researcheron their own. This study aimedto recruit 8-10participantswho lived in selectedurbancentres in Canadaand United States,with the following criteria: Criteria  Rationale  1) Women who lived in Afghanistan  This is the subjectmatterunderinvestigation.  during the Taliban regime. 2) Over twenty years of age.  To capturethe storiesof womenwho were at leastin their teenvearswhen the 1996. Talibancameto powerin September,  They individually met the researcherfor an in depth 1 to 1.5hour interview at convenient placesmutually agreedupon by both the researcherand the participant.Theselocations includedparticipants'homes,friends' homes,and Afghan Women's Organizatton. After the transcriptionof eachindividual interview, participantswere sent a onepagesummaryof their interview.Initially, I wantedto have l12 hour face-to-face interview with eachparticipant upon the receipt of the summary.However, due to distanceand time constraints,the majority of the participantsoffered to participateby phoneand e-mail.Therefore,participantswere contactedby phoneor e-mail to verify the preliminary themesthat originated from their specific individual interviews. They were alsoaskedto add or eliminateinformationthat they felt was necessary.This servedto verify the accuracyof the providedinformation.The majority of the participants indicatedthat the 1-pagesummaryhad capturedthe major themesof their interviewswith me. One participantprovided additionalinformationabouther experiencespost-Taliban,  35 this individual' feedbackwas incorporatedinto her individual interview and analyzedfor themes. Data Analysis This studyinvolved ongoinganalysisof the transcripts.Various stepssuggested by Miles and Huberrnan(1994)were utilized that encouragedan evolving process, cyclical in nature,thus reducing information load and promoting accuracy.Data gathered consistedof transcribedindividual interviewsthat were audio-taped,field notesas well as personalreflectionsthroughjournaling as recommendedby Thorneand the researcher's (1997). colleagues For gatheringfield notes,Miles and Huberrnan(1994) suggestedusing a "Contact summarysheet" for coding and analysis,which will contain "focusing or summanzing questionsabouta particularfield contact"madeby the researcher(p. 51). Following were somesuggestedquestionsby (Miles& Huberman,1994,p. 51): ' . What people,events,or situationswere involved? . . What were the main themesor issuesin the interview? '  Which researchquestionsand which variablesin the initial framework did the interview bear on most centrallv?  ' . What new hypotheses,speculations, or hunchesaboutthe field situationswere by the interview? suggested . . Where should the field-worker place most energyduring the next interview, and what kinds of information shouldbe sought?  36 In addition,a diary of my reflexive impressionswas kept to recordsubjective information(Creswell,1998).In part, the functionof the field notesand diary were to whetherthereis sufficient createa research"'decisiontrail" whereit may be ascertained of the researchprocess(Hall & Stevens,199I, p.19).Accordingto Miles & dependability Huberman's(1994) suggestions,field noteswere compiledimmediatelyafter the contact. This helpedthe researcherto "reorient" herselfto the field during variousphases,suchas planning,analysis,and write up (p. 52). Regularjournaling helpedme adjustthe interviewsaccordingly.Similarly, the abovehelpedme to staycognrzarfiof ways that my own assumptionsand expectationsmight havebeenimposedon the participants,how I reactedto the commentsmadeby the participants,or whetherI was leadingthem to say particularthings during the interaction. Miles & Huberman's(1994) analyticframework fitted well with the study as it was emergent,iterative,detailedand comprehensive. Coding CollectedData Codesare definedas "tags or labelsfor assigningunits of meaningto the descriptiveor inferentialinformationcompiledduring a study" (p. 56). Codeshave different levels of analysisthat lie on a continuum,from descriptiveto inferential, and generalto specific.Theselevelsevolve asthe researchprocessand data gatheringevolve. Miles and Huberrnan(1994)recommendedthat the written databe read line by line and codesgeneratedby hand that will be containedwithin aparagraphby the sidemargins. All transcriptsin this research,which were transcribedby the researcher,were hand coded.In order to understandthe complex natureof what themesmight be inherentin codes,Bogdanand Biklen's (L992) schemeas recommendedby Miles and Huberrnan (1994)were used.Theseareas follows: (p. 61)  37 l. Setting/Context:generalinformation on surroundingsthat allows one to put the study in a largercontext. 2. Definition of the situation: how peopleunderstand,define,orperceive the settingor the topicson which the studybears. 3. Perspectives:ways of thinking abouttheir settingsharedby informants ("how things aredonehere"). of eachother,of outsiders, 4. Waysof thinking aboutpeople and objecfs.'understanding of objectsin their world (more detailedthan the above). 5. Process.'sequenceof events,flow, transitions,and turning points, changesover time. 6. Activities:regularlyoccurringkinds of behaviour. 7. Events.'specificactivities,especiallyonesoccurringinfrequently. 8. Strategies;waysof accomplishingthings;people'stactics,methods,techniquesfor meetingtheir needs. 9. Relationshipsand social structure: vnofficially definedpatternssuchas cliques, coalitions,romance,friendships,enemies. I0. Methods:problems,joys, dilemmasof the researchprocessoften in relationto commentsby observers. The codingprocedure,as indicatedabove,involvesrevising codesasnew data emerge.Similarly, the earlier coded dataare linked to the new datain order to find patterns;which, in turn, involve creatingnew codesthat could explain thesenew patterns (Lincoln & Guba, 1985,as cited in Miles & Huberman,1994).This processcontinues until no new informationis gleanedfrom the data(i.e.,when the codesreoccurred regularly).  38  Ensuring Trustworthinessof Data Rostam(2006) explainedfour major criteriain qualitativeresearchas described by Shenton(2004). Theseinclude:"credibility," transferability,""dependability,"and "confirmability." (p. 64). Credibility refersto internalvalidity within a positivist paradigmand is an effort to confirm that the findings reflect the reality of the participants.To ensurethis, adoptionof a well establishedmethodis recommended. Furthermore,credibility also requiresunderstandingand familiarity with the culture of the participants,although I have spentmore than half of my life in Canada,I sharethe religious,cultural and linguisticbackgroundof the participants,thereforethis requirementwas met. Moreover, credibility requiresthat opportunitiesfor full participationbe provided. Even thoughrandomsamplingwas not consistentwith this qualitativeresearch,every opportunity for participationwas provided given that participantsmeet the criteria for inclusionin the study.Credibility alsoneeds "triangulation" (p. 65) which refers to implementationof different ways of data gathering.In this study, datacamefrom the audio-tapedtranscriptsof the individual interviewsessions,field notes(which containeddescriptionof participantsinteraction andbehaviors,verbal and nonverbalbehaviour,pacing,descriptionof contextsetc.),as well asmy own reflectionsandjournaling.Other optionsto ensurecredibility in the study included"honesty" in information which meansallowing the participantsto participate voluntarily and withdraw at anytime freely (p. 67). Another way to ensurecredibility is by "iterativequestioning"(p.67)which includesclarificationof responses,elucidating rephrasingand so on. Credibility is also facilitatedthroughmy own contradictions, "reflectivecommentary,"as recommendedby Shenton(2004),which helpedme be  39 awareof my own prejudiceand assumptionsas a researcher(p. 68). Credibility also requiresregular member checking to ensurethat the data gatheredand transcribedare accuratelyrecorded.This steptook place when the individual interviews were transcribed and participantswere provided with a one page summaryof their interview. To ensurepossible transferability of the data,which is analogousto the concept of generalzablltty, adequateinformation regardingthe context, sample,proceduresand designis recommended(Shenton,2004).To ensuredependability,which is often consideredequivalentto the conceptof reliability, a detaileddescriptionof various proceduresand the design is required. According to Shenton(2004) the following three issuesneedto be kept in mind: "the researchdesignand its implementation,descnbing what was plannedand executedon a strategiclevel;" "the operationaldetail of data gathering, addressingthe minutiae of what was done in the field;" arrd"reflective of the processof inquiry appraisalof theproject, evaluatingthe effectiveness undertaken."(p. 72, author'semphasis).This studyhasprovidedadequateinformation andbackgroundto meet the requirementsof this category. In orderto ensureconfirmability,which is often comparedto objectivity,it is importantto provide an "audit trail" of how the datawere gatheredor on what basisthe and implicationswere placed(Shenton,2004).Again, this studyhas recommendations attemptedto meet this criterion throughoutthe researchprocess. The Processof ReflexivitY Throughoutthis research,I found myself at awe of Afghan women's strengthand resiliencein spiteof, or perhapsbecauseof, all the challengesthey had faced.They generouslyopenedtheir homes,and selflesslygaveof their time to answermy questions  40 to participants' trust and andparticipatein this research.Our sharedbackgroundsled aidedin the establishmentof rapport' participantsshowedcuriosity aboutmy backgroundand often askedaboutwhen of the current and how I settledin canada, or at times, they askedaboutmy opinion questions political environmentin Afghanistan.I was expectingthesetlpes of curious to show interest due to my familiarity with the cultural norms. It is consideredcourteous in the lives of the people one meets,ratherthan delve into the task at hand.  In order to  would maintain a healthy boundary,however, I sharedinformation to the extent that together,I facilitatethe interview process.In orderto makethe bestuseof our time encouragedsuch conversationsat the end of the interviews. that the As a counsellorin training, I could often sensethe emotional difficulties women experienceddue to ongoingconflict in Afghanistan.Sharingthe  list of resources  process, (Appendix D) servedas an aid to addressthis concern.Throughoutthe interview not intend to be I encouragedparticipantsto sharetheir storiesand perspectives,as I did yet anothersilencing source.However, it was also important to keep the interview issuewith the focusedand relevantto the researchquestions.I decidedthat sharingthis the research participantswould be a good way to solicit their help in termsof keeping were encouraged focused.To addressany remaining thoughtsand concerns,participants to sharethem at the end of the interview'  4T Chapter Four: Findings In this section,I provide generaldemographicinformation about the participants, followed by the analysisof qualitative interviews and the generatedpatternsand themes. Someof the categorieswere constructedin responseto specificquestions(e.g.,recall of Taliban'spoliciesregardingwomen),whereasotherswere constructedmore generally from acrossseveralquestionsin the interview. The themesof the presentstudyare divided into two main parts.The first section exploresthe Taliban and their policiesregardingwomen, followed by impact of the Talibanand their policies on women. Sincethe Talibanregime spannedfive years,there seemedto be a distinctionin how the participantsrespondedto the initial take-overby the Talibanversusthe later stagesof their regime.The themesunderthe first section,Taliban & PoliciesRegardingAfghan Women,outlinesthe diversity amongstthe Taliban and the regime'sdenialof women's rights, including:education,work, mobility, impositionof a strict dresscode,policing of the private sphere,targetingof specificethnic groups,and the ensuingpunishmentsfor violationsof the policies.The secondpart describesthe Impact of Taliban'sPolicies on Afghan women,the degreeof suffering,and the coping strategiesemployedby women in responseto the situationaswell as the agencyand resistanceexercisedby women, the sectionendswith a look at the situationof Afghan women afterthe end of the Talibanregime.(seeTable 1).  42 Table 1. Themesfor the Findingsof this Study  TALIBAN & POLICIES REGARDING AFGHAN WOMEN 1. a) b) c) d) e) 0 g) h)  Denialof Riehts: Education Work Mobility Impositionof strict dresscode Accessto healthcare Private sphere Forcedprayers Punishments  IMPACT OF TALIBAN & POLICIES ON AFGHAN WOMEN 1. Psychologicalimpact a) Long-term effects b) Positiveinfluences  2.Discriminationbasedon ethnicity  2."D egreesof suffbring"  3.DiversitvamonestTaliban  3.Coping& Resistance a) b) c) d)  Secretschools Supportnetworks Divertingactivities Genderdifferencesin coping  4.Women's lives post-Taliban  43  Demographics Eleven women living in the GreaterToronto Area, Ontario, Canada;Leesburg, Virginia; Baltimore, Maryland; United States,and Kabul, Afghanistanwere interviewed individuallybetweenMay-July, 2006.In orderto maintainthe confidentialityof participants,demographicinformation is reportedin rangesand generalterms. The ages of participantsrangedfrom 2l to 49 yearswith anaverageageof 33 years.All the \\'omenwere born in Afghanistan.The eightwomen residingin Toronto settledin Canada betweenthe years2004 and2006.The two women in United Statessettledin Virginia andMarylandin 2000 and 2001 respectively.The woman who currentlyresidesin Afghanistanwas visiting relativesin Virginta at the time of interview. All eight women in Canada arelandedimmigrants,while the two women in United Statesare American citizens.Of the sample,four identified themselvesas Hazara, threeas Tajik and the remaining four identified as Pushtoonethnic group. Eight participantsbelongedto the Sunni sect,whereasthe remainingwomen identified themselvesas Shi'a. Eight were married,and threewere single.The averagenumberof one lived alone,two childrenreportedwas four. In termsof living arrangements, participantsresidedwith parents,four with their spousesand children, one with mother in-law and children,one with spouse,childrenand in-laws,one with spouseand in-laws, and one with ftiends. The level of educationin the sampleconsistedof 1 Bachelor'sdegree,and 1 one Master'sdegree,1 Physician,3 with CollegeDiplomas,2High schoolgraduates, high-schoolstudent,1 illiterate and 1 partially illiterate.Prior to immigratingto Canada or United States,threewere students,threewere stay-at-homemothers,one worked in  44 healthservices,one was involved in politics, one worked as an editor of a magazine,one teacherand activist. Four participantsreportedbeing in part time and2 in full-time employment,2 are full-time studentsand three are stay-at-homemothers.The current occupationsrangedfrom 1 participantin sales;1 in child-carc;1 as a nurse, 1 in an academicsetting,1 in non-governmentalorgantzation,and 1 in public office. Participantssettledin Canadaand United Statesafter having lived as immigrants or refugeesin Afghanistan'sneighbouringcountries.Somelived in refugeecamps,while of othershad more stablecareersin thosecountries.However,the difficult circumstances refugeecamps,the lack of statusin the host countriesand concernsregardingthe future of their children for the married participants,motivatedthem to seekasylum in Canada. All participantshad immediateor extendedfamilies currently living in Afghanistan. Someparticipantshad lost their closefamily membersduring the Taliban regime aswell asthe conflictsprecedingthe Talibanregime.After the fall of the Taliban regime,several participantswent back to visit their families and to seethe situation in Afghanistan firsthand.(seeTable 2)  45  Table2: DemographicInformation Variable  Description  AverageAge  33  Gender  Female  Ethnicity  3 Hazaras;4 Tajiks; 4 Pushtoons  ReligiousSect  3 Shi'a, 8 Sunni  Countrvof Birth  Afghanistan  Marital Status  8 Married; 3 Single  AverageNumber of Children  4  Living Arrangements  1 living alone; 2 with parents;4 with spouse& children; 1 with spouse& inlaws; 1 with mother in-law & children; 1 with spouse, children & in-laws; 1 with friend 3 students;3 stay-at-homemothers; t health services;1 politics, 1 media, 1 teacher& activist 1 sales;1 child-care;1 nurse; 1 academic setting;1 NGO; and 1 public office  OccupationPrior to Immigration  Occupationin Canada/US/Afghanistan  Statusin Canada/Us/Afghanistan AverageYear of Settlementin CanadaruS Rangeof Length of Stay in TO/VA/MD  8 landedimmigrant in Canada/2US crtizensI 1Aghan ctttzen 2005- Canada;2000 - US TO: 1 month-2vears VA: 5 years MD: 6 vears  46  Emerging Themes Taliban'spolicies regardingAfghan women Afghan women were deniedtheir basic rights during the Taliban regime. A11the participantsunanimouslyspokeof being forcedto wear chadory(a largehead-to-toe pleatedgarmentdesignedwith a mesh-openingfor seeingandbreathing).They spokeof the ban on educatingwomen and girls and that they were not allowed to work in any field erceptthe medicalsector,and dissentwas met with admonitions,threatsand or punishmentin the form of whipping, imprisonment,and at times stoning. Severalwomen spokeof being beaten(by a whip) or witnessingbeatings.In short,"the rights that a woman has were withheld from her regardingeducation,work, everything." (Hadia) Denial of education Denial of educationwas one of the themesthat emerged.All the participants spokeof the greatimpact that this had on them or their families. One participantput it this way, Theytook awayschoolsfrom us andtheright to educationthis hada negative impacton me.We realizedthatthe opportunityfor educationis psychological thatwouldbe organized or sewingandbeadingclasses the gone...even Englishclasses person in chargeof those The down. be shut would by Taliban ior girls if discovered for womenandgirls way a finding for wouldbe beatenor imprisoned classes clandestine Theywouldn'tcall it schoolrathergaveit a badnamesayingthatthe to be educated. theprincipalor thepersonin purposeis to spreadChristianity.So,undertheseexcuses would be shutdownandI wouldbe school the and imprisoned or beaten be would charge wouldstartstudying something...I learn to an opportunity because verydisappointed would try to searchfor we So, away. be taken Englishfor a while but thattoo would whenthey comes elseto learnsomethingsothatwhenperhapsthetime someplace (Hadia). thatwe wouldknow something fTaliban]aregone,we will be prepared OutsideKabul, somegirls' schoolsremainedopen.For instance,the Jaghori districtofferedgirls' schoolsup to grade12. Even thoughthe Talibanhad "warnedthat the schoolsmust be closed"they remainedopenbecause"they didn't have the people's  47 supportthere,for instancethere were only 15 or twenty non-HazaraTalibs in that atea' they couldn't put too much pressure".Older girls and teachershad to wear the chadory while they attendedschool.Another participantindicatedthat girls could attendschoolup to secondarylevel in the provincesof GhazntandBamiyan"and they didn't haveto wear chadory,theyjust went with a scarf." Imposition of strict dresscode Virtually none of the participantswore chadoryprior to the Taliban regime exceptfor one woman. Basedon the participants'accounts,all women, regardlessof age had to don the chadory.Even thoughchadorywas expensive,women could not appearin public without it and it seemedto matter very little if they could not afford it. The women acknowledgedthat wearing chadory was a tradition that somewomen observedprimarily ', in rural areas,somedue to their "religiousbelief while otherswere forcedto wear it as a resultof belongingto "strict" families,so "it was not that chadoryjust camebecauseof Taliban". However, the fact that it was imposedand "Taliban made it mandatoryto wear, now chadoryis questioned,especiallyfor women's rights activists,for women who are working for awarenessof women, it's a question,they're trying to bring awareness amongthe women to say don't wear it aspart of culture,it's a symbol of oppression. Now, the meaningof chadory is different than 30 years ago" (Zainab).Most women did not considerit Islamic dressas it contradictedthe descriptionof hijab as it appearsin the Qur'an. Zahradescribedthe imposition of chadory as a form of "discrimination" shewent on to say, Underthe chadory,you areamovingbody,with no faceor identity.You area personbut it's not knownwhatkind of a personsinceyou don't havean identity.We hada onceaboutthe differencebetweena prisonanda chadory.I saidthatin a discussion  48 prisonyou still havean identity,your faceis known,your crimeis knownbut underneath ihe chadory,your identityis unknown,your facein covered,it is not knownwhetheryou areyoungor old, whetheryou arewhiteor black,whetheryou areugly or blind. You are a thingthatwalks,an object' The participantsreportedthat initially they were unhappy about wearing the chacloryas they were not accustomedto it and had to learn to wear it. They found it "hot" and "suffo cating",especiallyin the summermonths due to the difficulty it posedto breathing- through the small mesh opening.One woman found it particularly bothersome during her pregnancyas shewas frequently experiencingshortnessof breath.Another participantreportedexperiencingheadachesand drzziness,as it coveredher headto toe, sheand a few other participantssaid that they had difficulty seeingtheir way and as a result it was difficult to walk with chadory. Someparticipantsreportedthat afterpassageof time they "got usedto wearing it", acceptingit because"we knew that it was a generaltreatment",almost like a fatt as, accompli.One participantdescribedthe processof acceptance we didn't leavethehomea lot...if we hadajob andhadto wearthechadoryand Because in schools,it wouldhavebeen or if we werestudents work in theTalibangovernment a monthout of fear.. .there ..once everyday. chadory the wear to verytiring andboring we do with chadory...we will what that minds wasfear.This thoughtdidn't crossour with chadory. weresayingthatthis is how we will remain When the topic of the impositionof chadoryon women was discussed,several women pointed out that men were also forced to dressin a particular way the "Taliban way". For instance, If theyforcedwomento wearchadory,theyforcedmento havebeardsandweara hat or turban.It wasn'tjust womenwho wereforcedto wearchadory,a manwho hadnever growna beardhadto grow a beardandhe wasn'tevenallowedto trim it andhadto wear ;perahanwa tunban" [men'sversionof a longdresswith buggypants]anda hat.This wasalsoa typeof impositionon men(Hadia).  49 However,most contendedthat women were oppressedthe most underthe Taliban regime. In the words of one participant,if men andwomen were equally oppressed ..boyswouldn't be ableto go to schooleither,what was importantis that our education rvashinderedand we remainedbehind." Boys were forced to have their headsshavedand co'ered with a hat or turban. Interestinglyenough,one participantreportedthat some youngboys wore chadoryin orderto escapeTaliban'swrath for shirking their edict. As reportedby one of theHazaraparticipants,chadory had a protective function for Hazarawomen as "they were not scaredwhen they went out, all the women were similar,I meanchadorybroughta level of similar oppressionto the women, underthat all werewomen,whetheryou are Hazara,llzbak,Tajik, Pushtoon,chadory was chadory,so that,s *hy, it meansthey couldn't recognizethat you are Hazarawoman" (Zainab). Another Hazaraparticipant,however, challengedthe protective role of chadory for Hazarawomensaying that although"some people are of that opinion", chadory rendersa woman without an identity and whether concealmentof identity can be called protection is a matterof opinion, concludingthat "I am very much opposedto that". In addition to chadory,women were forbidden from wearing high heels as they tend to make a soundwhile walking. Furthermore,they were not allowed to wear white shoesor white socksas white was the colour of the Taliban flug, thereforewearingwhite on their feetwas construedas a sign of disrespect.Sandalsand "thin socks"were not allowedas  ,'feethad to be covered".Two participantsreportedbeing hit with a whip, one  for not wearing a chadory (at the time shewas a young girl yet was told that shemust wear it). The other participant was hit for not wearing socksand revealing her feet.  50  Ban on work Women were only allowedto work in the medical field as physicians,nurses,and administrativestaff for women's hospitals.Femalephysicianswere allowedto seefemale patientsonly. Due to the ban on work and the resultingpoverty, there was a sharprise in the numberof women beggars.Accordingto one participant,"the only occupationthey were allowedto do in the southpart of Afghanistanand Kabul was that they could beg." As expected,the ban on work did not affectwomen who did not work outsidethe home, so this ban primarily affectededucatedwomen in urban centres.As one participantput it, from southpart,theydidn't havea problembecause Thosewomenwho wereuneducated it didn't affectthem,theywereuneducated, Talibanraisedfrom their own communities, beforetheyhadtheburqa,still theyarewearingburqa,it didn't affectthem,but those or Tajik, from anyethnicgroup,whetherPushtoon,,Hazara womenwho wereeducated were go, they not to home at abandoned were they because problems lJzbak,theyfaced to women independent were professionals...they were they doctors,theywereengineers, were males their or males their lost mostof them takecareoftheir familiesbecause of war, sotheyreceiveda big damageduring or out of countrybecause outside,overseas the Talibun.(Zarnab) Therewere someexceptions,for exampleone participantworked on a World Food programproject for 20 monthsduring the Talibanregime.In addition,her sister manageda centrefor the poor and homeless,shedescribesthe exceptionsto the ban, themarastoon [poorhouse]thereduringthe My sisterwho lived in JalalAbadmanaged shewould saythatotherthanfemalephysicians,shewasthe Talibanregime.Sometimes only womanwho workedthroughouttheTalibanregime.The womenwho workedat the staffor themedicalstaffhad hospitals,whethertheywerethe administrative realitywasnot alwaysasit wasportrayed...thereweresomesurgeries restrictions...but thatweredifficult thatwomencouldn'tdo it aloneandmenhadto helpthem.(Qamar) Restrictionson mobilitY Women were not to appearin public, if they did, they had to be accompaniedby a mahram,or a closemale blood relative.Oneparticipantput it this w&y, "women can leavethe houseon two occasions,onceto go to her husband'shouseand onceto be  51 must alwaysbe buried.,,While somewomen statedthat Taliban demandedthat women go out with another accompaniedby their mahram; a few women said that they could us or what but I female,for exampleone woman saidthat "I don't know if they didn't see never did that'" had heardthat in certainplaceswomen had to be accompaniedbut we Asia saidthat  ..it wasn't necessarythat a man shouldaccompanyyou, you could go alone  While to buy things given that you don't laugh with the shopkeeperor talk to him." in the taking the public transit, men and women were segregated;a curtain was erected as' middle of the bus separatingthe two sexes.One participantrecalledher experience therewerecurtainsall overthebus,in the otherhalf of I foundit reallydifficult because the malewascomingout and thebus*u, you, cousinwheremaleswasthere,sometimes theydidn't know whereto comeout andtheycouldn't shoutingaboutthewomenbecause thecurtain,theywerehit. Buseswerestoppedlike ten seetheitop if you open...raise (Laila) timeson the streetjust to checkthe curtainsandwho is travelingwith whom. In orderto avoid the difficulties of taking the bus, "you would seewomen at  the  haveamahram backof the bicycle[s]".Takingtaxi was not an optionif awoman did not the poor with her. In the eventthat a woman was discoveredin a taxi, "they would beat why did you take cab driver and they would whip the woman with qamcheen[whip] that the cab alone" (MarYam). where Even on pakistani soil (for examplethe Afghan embassyor the Consulate) not observehijab Taliban frequented,women were reprimandedor threatenedif they did was reprimandedby or if they appearedto interactwith men, one participant said that she passport Talibanin a pakistanipassportoffice for saying"salam" (greetingthe male officer servingher). work It shouldbe noted that the one participantwho did not attendschool or  prior  to the Taliban regime, felt that this issuedid not affect her. In her words, I didn'twork outsidethehome,soI can'tsaythat Whentheycame,I wasnot educated,  52 my job was taken away or that I was barred from work. Before Taliban, I was at home and after thev came.I was at home. The fact that I was at home didn't bother me. (Maryam) Access to health care  Women said that they could seemale doctorsas long as they were accompanied by a mahram.Somefemalephysiciansusedtheir residenceasmake-shiftclinics and secretlynotified women abouttheir services.However,not all women in the healthcare sectorcontinuedwork as conditionsimposedby the Talibanmadeit very demandingto continuework. One participant who was a nurse"decidedto stay home and don't go to work becauseit was very difficult. . .it was very difficult with a big chadoryand to providecarefor the patient." Forced prayers Someparticipantswere witnessto male suffering.For instance,one participant recountedwhat her cousinhad beensubjectedto, My cousinwassayingthathe wasjust walkingby themosqueandit wasprayerstime andhe wasjust a teenage andhe wasaskedwhereareyou going?"'Justgo andpray!". He said"I'm not preparedto pray,I don't havewuzu" [ablutionperformedprior to prayer].Theysaid'Justgo andpray!"...andhe washit at thebackandheprayedwithout wllzu andhe said"andthenI cameout andtherewasanotherguy stoppedme" andsaid "why you'renot praying?"And he said"I prayedtwo timeswithoutwuzu" (Laila)  This was seenas un-Islamicby the participant,this was relatedto the view expressed by most of the participantsthat the Taliban'srhetoricand behaviourwas in contradiction.On the one hand,they were preachingIslam and consideredthemselves "mullahs" and on the other hand, their behaviourwas in clear contradictionto Islamic principalsor "shari'a". At 1 p.m., the"azan" or call to prayerwould be announcedand all men had to immediately attendprayersat the mosque.Due to intensefear, a few  53 participantsreportedthat shopkeepersleft their storesunattendedas they rushedto the mosques.It is interestingto note that despiterampantpoverty, few would summon enoughcourageto stealas the storesremainedunattended;one woman describedthe reasonas follows. Everyonewould go to prdy, if a storewas left open and if there was a pile of money lying in the store,no one had the audacityto take the money. There was intensefear that if they take the money, my hand would be choppedoff. No one could stealthe money. However, they [Taliban] did. They would steal,they would kill, commit crimes and atrocities,use drugs,they did everything.Who would say to them, what are you doing? Their dresses long up to their feet, their turbansas long as their feet, their eyesblackenedwith kohl, they were fear personified.(Maryam)  Private sphere  Not only were women policed outsidethe homebut participantsreportedthat their activitieswere also monitoredinsidethe home.It shouldbe noted that this theme pertainsto all the populationnot just women.Televisionwas banned,aswas listeningto music or playing musical instruments.Severalparticipantsreportedthat they secretly watchedmoviesbut preparationwas neededbeforethey could engagein this stealth operation.They had to closely draw the curtainsto ensurethat "light wouldn't be reflectedoutside".The religiouspolice would routinely checkthe streetsto ensurethat residentswere abidingby the rules.If they heardthe soundof televisionor music,they would enterthe premisesand demandto speakwith the headof the household.Two participantsdisclosedthe following account, They cameto our uncle's housetook their TV and video and video tapesand broke them. Their family videos, they took them and destroyedthem and hang the film strips on trees on a specifiedlocationas a lessonto deterothersfrom watchingtelevision...toshowthat they have hang them they would also hang the body of the televisionson treesand in a senseto show as if they had taken out the tapes' intestines.(Asia and Fatana) The only form of music allowed at weddings was tambourine. However, even this required special permission from the local command post. Fatana got married during the  54 Talibanregimewent throughthis processto obtainpermissionfor the allottedtwo hours. Punishments In the eventthat women did not adhereto the strict decrees(for a summaryseeAppendix H), a rangeof punishmentswas unleashedupon them. Women werewhippedfor a numberof infractions,including:not wearing chadoryor not having the front of it pulled down; for not wearingsocksor wearingthin socks;for wearing white shoesor socks;for wearing sandals;for speakingto men; for appearingin public alone;for taking the taxi aloneto namebut a few breachesof Taliban's policies.Some participantshad been hit for not wearing chadory, othersfor having sandals.The participantscalledthe whip qamcheen,dura, shalaqinterchangeably. The whip was madeof rubberand "they usedto attachweightsto the endsof the whip... they usedto flog that at people,however strong you were, you could not withstand more than ten lashes"(Maryam).Thesewhips were wieldedby membersof the religiouspolice who would walk the streetsenforcing the regulationsissuedby the "Amr Bil-Maroof Wa Nahi An al-Munkar" or the Departmentof the Promotion of Virtue and Preventionof Vice. Certainpunishmentswere showcasedaspublic spectacles. The allegedcrime,the identitiesof peopleinvolved, the mode of punishmentwould be "announcedin the radio" or the local mosque.The announcement would includethe date,time and the site where the punishmentwould take place.The public would be told to attendthe spectacleand in somecases,participateby "throwfing] threestonesat them." In most cases,the punishmentswere meted out in the Kabul soccerstadium.For instance,if a married woman was found with anotherman, shewould be stonedto death,the audiencewould be askedto throw stonesat her. One participantreportedthat "if it was a woman who was  55 caughtwith a man having an affair, peoplewould make them sit on a donkey,blacken their facesand would hang shoesaroundtheir necks." (Maryam) If someonestole,their hand(s)would be cut, "if you stealsomethingaccordingto the 'Islamic' law their handswere cut, if they stealwith the right hand, the right hand u'ould be cut, if stealwith left hand,the left hand" (Laila). A more severepunishmentwas exactedon one of the participantswhen her husbandwas taken away by the Taliban. He was guilty of being an arrny officer during the PresidentNajibullah's regime (the last Presidentof Afghanistanduring the period of the DemocraticRepublic of Afghanistan, 1987-1992).He was taken away from their with their home; the participantwas pregnantat the time of her husband'sdisappearance first child. His whereaboutswere unknown for about six months and "finally [they] found out that they have killed him". The sameparticipant statedthat a large number of men and women were taken and their whereaboutsremainedforever unknown. When Taliban took control of Mazar-i-Sharif,they targetedHazaras.Large numberswere imprisonedin the city jail or the in the neighbouringShiberghanprison, the latteralonecontained"1400 Hazaras".The prisonerswere "treatedvery poorly", "they were not given water" and given "piecesof hardenedbread and melon". In addition to impnsonment,the premier of Mazar had issuedan edict thatHazarasare "infidels" and whoeverkills sevenHazarasshall be rewardedin Heaven.Fatima who lived rnMazar during the Taliban take-overof Mazar witnessedthe murder of four Hazaramale relatives;her story is amongthe most painful, sherecalled, It was this time of the year fJune],it was very hot. They pleadedwith them that they are not soldiersand are not armedthey took them out of the houseto the backyard and shot them. His poor son was shot right away, we were watching from the bathroom window. When they shothim, he was drenchedin his blood...therewere a few half-deep wells...the boy's fatherwas standingthere,he was sweanngthat "we are not soldiers,we  56 arenot arrned,for God'ssake,we areMuslim"he wouldswear...they told him to throw him in the well. Theymadethe fatherthrowhis sonin the well, he wasdrenchedin blood andhe wasstill alivewhenhe wasthrownin thewell, thentheyhit him on theneckwith thebutt of therifle. They shothim with a roundof bulletsandthentheykilled thetwo youngguests,we couldn'twatchit anymore.We felt like we might faint andsatdown;I don't knowhow theykilled therest.Theykilled threepeoplein thebackyardwe sawit with our own eyes.For threemonths,theirbodieswerestill there.The mencouldn't leave,we, the womendugout the groundandburiedthebodiesthere.In the morningswe would seethatthedogshaddugthemout andhadeatenthe flesh. Discriminationbasedon ethniciQ A few participantsreportedthat treatmentdiffered basedon ethnicity. Sincethe majority of Taliban were Pushtun,they were more lenient towards other Pushtuns. For example,Fatanasaid that "even if they were at fault, they would listen to them and heard them out. If the personspokeFarsi,he would get beatenwhetheror not he was at fault." Membersof other ethnic groupswere frequentlyharassed, beaten,interrogated,and imprisonedfor "no reason,just becausethey were from Panjshirand didn't speak Pushtu."Hazarawomen felt that their ethnic group was specifically targetedby the Taliban. "They were saying that Shi'a and Hazaraare not Muslim and are not from Afghanistan,theyhave to leaveAfghanistan,they forcedHazarapeopleto...you haveto leaveAfghanistanbecausehere'snot your country,you haveto go somewhereelse." (Halima) Another Hazaraparticipantwho had done extensiveinterviews with Hazara peoplein2004 (shehad traveledto areasof AfghanistanwhereHazarapeopleresided). Regarding di fferential treatment, Zainabreported, generallyall thewomenof Afghanistandidn't facethe samedegreeof problem,or the samedegreeof suffering,theydidn't havethe samesufferingbecause theywerefrom differentethnicities. . ..I foundfrom my research, it wasfrom hearingfrom thepeopleand alsoreadingabouttheTaliban,mostwomenof minoritieshadmoreproblemsthanany otherwomen,especiallywomenbecause beinga womanandbeingHazara,andbeingthe targetethnicgroup,Talibanaccordingto theirreligiousbelief,Hazarawastheir "internal infidels."(Zainab)  57 Another participant,Zahra reportedthat after Taliban were defeatedinMazar-i-Sharif in 1997, In 1998theyrecaptured Hazaralat. FromSeptember 1997to September, 1998all the borderstoHazarajatwereclosed.Peopledidn't evenhavematches,therewasno saltto cookwith. A lot of peoplewerekilled,theykilled womenandchildren.Now, their clothesandremainsarefoundfrom differentareas.A lot of peopledisappeared, people thatI knewpersonally,neverto be found.Theywould stoppeople,their only purpose wasfindingHazaras. "Degreesof suffering" Closelyconnectedto the abovethemeof ethnicdiscriminationis differing pointed out that their ethnic O*O degreesof suffering. A11four Hazaraparticipants sufferedthe most at the handsof the Taliban. When I askedthe women of the other two ethnic groupsabout Taliban treatmentof ethnic minority groups,except for one Pushtoon woman, most did not speakof differential treatment.When anotherPushtoonwoman was directly askedabout Hazaras,she arguedthat all people sufferedone way or another dependingon the geographicallocation and in turn, the make-upof the Taliban in the region.Shespecificallynamedregions,which were controlledby Tajik, Hazara,and Uzbak Taliban,indicatingthat contraryto popularbelief, Taliban are not comprisedof one ethnicgroup,namely Pushtoons. One Hazarawoman (Zainab) who passionatelyspokeof "degreeof suffering" describedher encounterwith an Afghan woman activist who worked for Hazarapeople in Bamiyan. The activist had apparentlysaid that shedoesnot "care about what ethnic group you are from", meaningthat the issueof ethnicity is immaterial to her as shewould like to work for all women of Afghanistan.Zarnabinterpretedthe activist's 'lack' of care as an inabilityto appreciatethe unique situationof Hazarasas an ethnic minority, saying that sheis "not part of that suffedng, part of that degreeof suffering, shedidn't haveno  58 clue aboutwhat doesit mean to be a minority, to be a targetgroup", later shewent on to say"it's not her fault, it doesn'tmeanshedoesn'tcareaboutHazara.it means.she personallydoesn'tface...butfor me as a personI carebecauseI'm from those people.. .andthat'snot justice,that'snot right to sayI don't care,you shouldcare.. .'till they don't addressthe ethnic conflict in Afghanistan,nothing can be resolved." Zatnabnamed severalmassacresthat took place in different regions of Afghanistanto show that indeedHazaraswere specifically targetedby the Taliban. She relatedthe following, Two massacres happened in Bamiyan,two massacres happened in Mazar-i-Sharif...the situationof Afshar...the completebazaarof Bamiyanwasburnedwith 400 shopswere burned,which otherpart of Afghanistanthis happened? Canyou tell anymassacre that happened insideTajik?No. Probablythey'reagainstTajik too againstUzbaktoo,they killed too but thesehugemassacres happened amongstHazaras, theyhadwives,theyhad mothers, theyhaddaughters... do youbnngthedegreeof theirsufferingto thelevelof otherwomenwhojust losttheirhusbands, just losttheirfathers,I'm not saying...I feel solTyaboutthem,I feelsorryaboutthewife of Talibtoo,how terriblelife shehad...I didn't interviewwomenof otherminoritybut seethepoliticalsituationof theplacethen you canjudge it, it doesn'tmeanwhenyou interviewpersonallya womanthenyou can comparethatethnicto anotherethnicthenyou cantell the degreethe of suffering.No, you canseethepoliticalsituation,like whenI went toMazar,theyweretellingme for threedaystheyannounced...that theywouldkill Hazaras.Mazar hasa lot of Uzbaks, theydidn't kill UzbaksI meanof coursetheykilledbut not to announce it, for 3 davs... anymenfrom ageof 8 'till 90. (Zainab) Fatimawho lived rnMazar-i-Sharif corroboratedZainab'sdescriptionand the oppression of Hazarasby the Taliban. Shesaid that, Whentheyinvadedall of Mazar,the first thingtheydid wasto saythatwhereveryou find Hazaras, kill them.Whoeverkills 7 Hazaras will go to Heaven.Thatwastheir propaganda, theypreached thison theradio,in mosques, everywhere... Hazaramencouldn'tleavetheirhomesfor two months.If they sawa Hazara,theywould eitherkill him right awayor imprisonedhim in theprisonin "shiberghan"or the Mazar jail. . ..womenwerealsoscared, shewouldcomeout oncein a whilein orderto feedher children,to buy groceries. Anotherparticipanttried to provide rationalefor the hostilitiesunleashedtowardsthe Hazaraas follows.  59 In "Dasht-e-Laile", a largenumberof Talibanwerekilled,theyweremassacred. It is probablethatin a vengefulor retaliatory manner,thehostilities...since theysaythisandI haven'tbeena witnessto this to confirmor denyit, however,thereasonthatI could bring is that sincetheysustained greatcasualties in "Dasht-e-Lailee" andweredefeated. it is probablethathostilitiesexistedin orderto avengethem.(Qamar)  Impact of Taliban's Policieson Afghan Women The currentstudy suggeststhat the effectsof Taliban'spolicies in violating Afghan women's humanrights had a profoundimpact on the participants.I will begin this sectionwith the psychologicaleffects. Psychologicalimpact One participantwho worked for an NGO did not live in Afghanistan,however, shetraveledback and forth and reportedfeeling depressedfor a week after returning from her missionin Afghanistan.Shedescribedseeingdepressionand fear in the facesof Kabul residentsduring her travels.Shepersonallyfelt that the situationwas hopeless, statingthat "I thought there wouldn't be any other life in Afghanistan and that it would continue".However, she continuedher work with the NGO and statedthat they "never gaveup" yet shewrestled with a situationthat she saw as "so inhuman". A few other participantsalso expressedtheir senseof hopelessness, expressingthat that they did not think therewould be an end to the Talibanregime. Another woman reportedfeeling extremelyanxious,fearful and "feeling on edge",shedescribedher experienceduring the six monthsfollowing her husband's captureby the Taliban as, Day and night, I lived in anxiety that they may come knocking at our door any minute. If I heard the door click, I would shake,whitened with fear that they would come inside and searchthe house.They would make excuses,askingfor weapons,for money,they would sexuallyassaultwomen.Whicheverhousethey entered,they would do as they pleased. (Maryam)  60 Two otherparticipantsindicatedbeing "bored" due to restrictedactivities.One participantexpressed that "it was very boring... therewas nothingto do...laughs...just cleanthe houseand take careof the family, take careof the kids, that's all the women weredoing." (Halima) Another woman alsoreportedfeelingbored due to lack of activitiesand being confinedat home. The participantwho had traveledto Afghanistanin 2004 for her own research saidthat althoughshehad tried to "emotionally"prepareherselfto be able to hearthe lvomen'sstories,shefound that "I was not that much prepared...Iwas shocked."She went on to describethe reasonfor her shock and gave an accountof her interviewees' emotionalreaction,this excerptis quite telling of what sheexperiencedand witnessed, ThethingthatI saw,thethingthatI heardI couldn'tbelievern 2I't centuryhappening andwhy media,theinternational mediadidn'tcover,thatwasa shockfor me.... whenI startedinterviewingthem,theyweretellinghoniblestoriesbut theywereexplaininglike it's a very simplethingthathappened to them,like a woman,shesaidto me,hername wasHawa,shesaidto me,"from my family,2Jmenwerekilled".WhenTalibanentered theykilledtwo of them...finaudible]...cutting thehead,cuttingtheneckor cuttingthe handsor takingout the eyesin front of thewomenandchildrenandI wasscreaming and cryingthe storythattheywereexplainingto mebut theywerenot cryingandI was completelyshockedandI wastheonly onewho wascryingamong30 or 40 womenand noneof themwerecrying.Thatwasa shockfor me,whenI cameout I wasthinkingwhy theyarenot crying,weretheynot real storiesthattheywerenot crying,but theywere real stories,theylost their daughter, theirfather,their sons,why they'renot cryingandso thenwhenI camebackthenI got the storybecause theysawtoo much,theybecame numb...(Zainab) Zatnabwent on to explain that the women she interviewed "forgot about themselves,they forgot abouttheir emotions"becausethey were "worried how to take careof their children,that is the main reasonthey arecompletelynumb to expresstheir emotions...thewomen definethemselvesthroughtheir children,they live becauseof their children". Since most Hazarafamilies rnMazara-i-Sharif,Yakowlang, Bamiyan lost their male supporters"they have becomeindependent"as they are no longer dependent on the male supporters.Zainab describedmany women that shemet as "strong women,  61 eventhough they are uneducated,they cannotread or write but they actedas a leaderin the community." It seemedthat for most Taliban "personified fear." kr general,participants reportedfeeling depressed,anxious,and fearful, and symptomsthat are indicative of PosttraumaticStressDisorder,suchas increasedarousal,recollectionsand flashbacks, avoidanceof stimuli that remindedthem of the traumatic eventssuch as avoiding the newsor visual images(movies)aboutTaliban. Long-term fficts Severalwomen reportedthat their experienceshad lasting effects, such as flashbacksand lingering anxiety. Maryam describedher experienceas follows, "Sometimes,when I seeany form of cruelty,I get goosebumps.In Pakistan,when I used to watch someHindi or Pakistanimoviesand saw someonebeing oppressed,I would get goosebumps.I would rememberthingsthat had happenedto me, the way they would hit women,how they had beatenme or how they had takenaway my husband."Fatimaalso reportedhaving flashbacks,shehad witnessedthe murder of four men and said that "even now when I rememberit, I experiencea shock." Positive influence One participantpointed someof the positiveinfluencesof the Talibanregime. Interestinglyenough,thefear that the Taliban incited in most of the population had a positiveby-product.This fear discouragedpeoplefrom engagingin crimeslike stealing andviolence,in the words of one participant"during the Talibanregimepeoplebreathed a sigh or relief becausethey didn't hearthe soundof gunfire again [in Kabul". Furthermore,the sameparticipantpointed out that contraryto the precedingregime  62 where"girls and women didn't leavehome to go to schooland work becauseof fear of sexualviolence" as one had "to pass5,6,7 or 8 different fiefdoms sincedifferent factionscontrolleddifferent areasso you had to passseveralfiefdoms if you crosseda given street".Therefore,accordingto the participant,women benefitedfrom the Taliban regime,at leastin this one way, despitethehostilitiesthatprevented womenfrom studying,workingandgoingout,there wasonething,a goodthingthatwomenwerenot sexuallyharassed or abused.Meaning thatwomen...even now,womenhavea lot of problems, however,atthattimeno onehad theaudacityto violatea woman'shonour,in thatway,therewasno danger. ... with regardsto their honour,womenweresafer.(Qamar) Seenfrom a different lens,by taking awaywomen's rights,the repressiveTaliban regime led women to becomeincreasinglyawareof that which was taken away from them. Women organrzedaround gender-relatedsurvival activities and in the process, becameawareof more gender-specificconcerns.Qamarsaidthat "every situationhas positiveand negativeaspect",and TherewasonegoodthingthatresultedfromtheTalibanregimewasthepeopleof Afghanistanin generalandwomenin particularleamedto riseagainstthatwhichhinders their growthandwomenbecameawareof this issue.So,for this reason,everyoneis now thinkingandtalkingaboutandstruggling for women'srights...thisdidn't existbefore. This madethe Afghanwomenaware...they keptmovingforwardbecause of a hopethat therewill be an endto the existingconditionandtheyhadto be readyfor thatend.I mentionedearlierthatthewomenof Afghanistanshonewell, thereasonbeingthatthey didn't remainsilentunderthe chadoryandtheydidn't stoptheir struggle,theydidn't stop learning. Copingand resistance Given all the restrictionson women'srights and the resultingpsychological impactof theseconstraints,women employeda variety of coping strategiesto overcome the difficulties that they faced.One way of coping was attending secret classesor clandestineschoolssetup by courageouswomen in their homesfor the girls and women in their neighbourhood.This was an act of resistanceon the part of women who opened  63 their homesdespitethe tremendousrisks. If discovered,the organizerand,or teacher would be threatened,beaten,punished,and in somecases,they were evenimprisoned andthe schoolwould be shut down. Naturally,the closingof the schoolswould be a sourceof disappointmentto the beneficiaries,as they had to eithergive up or searchfor anotherclandestineschool.Frequentclosuresand the ensuingpunishmentsdeterredtwo participantsfrom attendingtheseschools.They expressedfear due to the associatedrisk andthey were further discouragedby the uncertainand short-livednatureof the schools. The schoolsalso servedas a sourceof incomefor the organizers.The women formed networksas they informed one anotheraboutnew schools,which servedas a form of resistanceas well as coping. In addition,the schoolsfunctionedas a sourceof hope,one participantwho worked for an NGO said that "I was really glad becauseno one disclosedbecause everyonewantedto...cometo schools,not just for education,but alsoto introducethem to new technology,you know that the world is so much bigger,not just the surroundings, what Taliban are." Prayerand attendingshrineswas a coping mechanismfor someparticipants,as they struggledto find peaceand solace.Attendingshrinesservedas an outlet to share storiesand be comforted and supportedin a communalmannerby the attendees.Maryam describedher visit to the shrineas follows. There would be twenty or thirry women. Every woman had enduredsome form of difficulty or cruelty. When you would go the shrine,eachwoman would tell her story, shewould .ry. You would ask "Auntie, why are you crying?" "Daughter, today I have enduredthis difficulty, they have taken my son,next week he will be executed."Another woman would tell her story, for example,her husbandwas taken away,or anotherwho would say that they came and searchedmy houseand took my young daughter.Everyone had enduredsomeform of hardship,they would comethereand cried.20,30 or 50 women would come together,eachone would tell her story.  64 Diverting activities Visits from friends,neighboursand relativeswere helpful and diverting. However, for somewomen thesevisits were rare as relativeslived farther away and due to restrictionson mobility they did not have accessto their closefamily members.In almostall cases,somefamily membershad fled Afghanistanto neighbouringcountries making visitation a distant dream.A few women statedthat they engagedin activities that kept them occupied,including,chores"aroundthe house";watchingmovies, generallyone personwho had a supplyof moviesin the neighbourhoodrentedit to others.One woman said that shebegantaking computerclasses, orgartrzedan English classinsideher home, engagedin writing and sewing.The sameparticipantwas ableto "raiseher voice" beyondthe confinesof her home and reachpeopleon a global level by doing interviewswith the BBC. Genderdffirences in coping Someparticipantspointedout that the impact of Taliban'spolicieshad far reachingeffectsbeyond women and affectedmen aswell. It is interestingto note that women and men experiencedand copedwith the situationdifferently. One woman describedwitnessinga differencein how Hazaramen and women faredpsychologically. Accordingto her observations Most of the women who faced a lot of problemsto the samedegreethat men facedbut or...they had mentally problemsand I did most of the men I found emotionallydepressed not find a lot of women who had emotionalor psychologicalproblem becausethe women are so connectedto eachother community-wise,they are sharingtheir feelings that's the reasonit didn't affect them so much to completelydamagethem, mentally damagethem. So, the men feel so powerlesswhen thesethingshappened...theydon't shareaccording to Afghan culture, the men keep quiet, the men they don't want to sharetheir weaknessto other people or their emotions,so it completelyinternal wound them, so, I found a lot of men mentally ill, I saw few women also but not so much depressed,they didn't have that much problems,they didn't have emotionalproblemsbecausethey were sayingwe don't care about ourselves,we care about our children. (Zainab)  65  So, it seemedthat childrenplayeda protectiverole for their motherswho devoted themselvesto providing carefor their children.They served"as a motivation,motivation to be alive,to work, to rise up and leadtheir lives", especiallywhen a role reversalhad takenplacewith the demiseof their husbandsand othermale relativeswho normally supportedthe family. They rosedue to "the responsibilityof motherhood". Diversity amongstthe Taliban Their experiencesduring the f,rveyearsof Taliban rule left most of the participantswith alargely negativeimpression.However, far from a uniform view, the emergentimageof the Taliban is both variedand complex.For example,one participant saidthat althoughTaliban "were calledby one name",one cannot'Judge" all of them by the crimesof a few. The sameparticipantsaidthat someTalibanwere "true Muslims" but sheaddedthat these"true" adherentsof Islam were few and far between.Two women who had direct contactwith Taliban officials or commandershad a different perspective of their encounters.Zahra who was a physician and ran severalclinics in different parts of the country describedher encounterwith a Talib commanderas unthreateningand evencivil. Shereported,"if you saw them individually,theyweren't hostilepeople.Of course,I'm speakingof the peoplewho broughtin their patientsto the hospital.The circumstances were differentbecausethe hospitalthat they cameto, I was in charge,they weren't in charge,they neededhelp". As shelaterpressedthe commanderaboutthe logic of their policiesregardingwomen's education,"he would saythat oncethereis security, oncewe control all of Afghanistan,we will allow girls under specificIslamic conditions. However,thesewere peoplewho did not makethe decisions,eventhoughhe had a high rank,he was the commanderin chargeof Ghazni'ssecurity,the province of Ghazni."  66 It did not seemas thoughthe Talibanwould keeptheir promisesto relax their policiesand allow girls back to school.In fact, Zahraexplainedthat "the more territory would fall undertheir control,the more their hostility would grow." Shewent on to say that the Taliban did not anticipatethat they would one day control 90% of the country and it was Pakistanthat pushedthem forward,"of coursethey were influencedby Pakistanwho sentthem supplies. ..at that time, they couldn't imaginethat they could one day make so many gainsbut they were given that mentalityby someoneelse." Post-Taliban The participantsreportedsomepositivechangesin the post-TalibanAfghanistan. Somehad goneback to visit friendsand relativesand to seethe situationfirst-hand: othersreportedwhat they had heard from friends and families who are culrently in Afghanistan.Thesechangesincludedreturnto schooland universityfor girls and women, return to "samejobs" or work at UN and other internationalNGOs if they were fluent in anotherlanguage;changesin women's dressand that women choseto wear a chadory,a scarfor have their hair uncovered.It shouldbe noted however, that due to security concernssomewomen activistsand politicianscontinueto wear chadory.One participant reportedthat Malai Joya (aparliamentarian)indicatedin one of her interviewsthat "whenevershewent to parliament,becauseshedidn't have securityor body guard, alwaysshewears chadory and sitting in the bus, when sheis right in front of parliament building,shetakesit off." Someparticipantsstatedthat women appearcontentas they no longer fear "to go [out] alone".One participantwho worked in the Norwegianembassy,returnedto the Kabul office in 2003 and recountedher visit as.  67 I wasthereofficially,therewasa carto pick me up to takeme to the office,not to some wasnot scared. I felt sowelcome. secret house...laughs...I Theywerelike "oh,youhave whentheywerecheckingmy passport, people come!"A lot of positivethings...even wantedto help,you know the men,theywantedto carrymy bageven[though] it wasa I felt I wassowelcome,like I wassomeone important.Themain smallbag...laughs. me.(Laila) thingwasthattheywererespecting However,a numberof negativechangeswere alsopointedout. In particular, "therewas a big gap betweenpeoplewho were rich and peoplewho were poor." While the local populationreceivedlow wagesin Afghani that barelymet their needs,the foreign workers or thosewho worked for international organrzationsand corporations were paid exorbitantsalariesin US dollar. Furthermore,the monthly rent for an average houseis apparently"more than a teacher'ssalary." It is important to note that all the post-Talibanchangesdescribedthus far is restrictedto Kabul only. With regardsto education,one participantreportedthat although girls form about 40% of the studentpopulation,the actualnumber of girls attending schoolsvariestremendouslybasedon the region,for example, In someprovinceslike ZabulandUruzganwheresecurityis poor,girls only form 3oAof thereareno schoolsfor girls to beginwith. ln Kabul,girls attend3 shifts the students, from7 a.m.-I0a.m., 10a.m.-lp.ffi., and1p.m.-4p.*.and thequalityof education is very low. After five years,thereis still no curriculum...I saythataccess to education is one thingandaccessto qualityeducationis quiteanother.(Zatlra) Zahrawho was involved in the monitoring of the recentpresidentialand parliamentaryelectionsreportedinstancesof "fraud", "multiple voting", "ethnic favouritism", "an incredibleamountof underageregistration","bribery", and "distributionof white cardsin certainareas".Sheaddedthat "in a given area,a man would come and vote for 12 women. Given this. how accurateis women's oolitical participationwhen we say that 42% of women voted". Zahra further cnticrzedthe voting processby sayingthat,  68  The fact that we engagedin the voting processand chosea presidentand formed a parliament,it was somethingthat got done,however,we did not lay the foundation for democracy.One of my criticisms during the electionwas also this that this electiondoes not guaranteedemocracybut at least it was exercisethat people engagedin, however it shouldhavebeendonebasedon specificprinciples. On the question of "liberation" of Afghan women in general, one participant conceded that Hazarawomen are "not scared of Taliban...I can call it liberation", however, she acknowledged that there are other issues thatHazara women face such as poverty and "health issues are worst inside of Hazara". She went on to say, It is different [in] eachpart of Afghanistan,like now Southis...I don't think women are liberatedbecausestill the Taliban are strongand they're getting strongerbecauseof to what I know about weaknesswith policy of governmentof Afghanistan...according South,women are still restncted,evenit is getting worse becausefrom one side NGOs are trying to get women out to get education...andother part the Taliban are trying to defeatthem, it's kind of gettingbetweentwo struggles...thesituationof women are getting more scary, so that is different, all AfghanistanI cannot tell you. (Zainab)  The road to equality and freedom for Afghan women is long and tortuous. There are many factors involved and one that resonated with many participants was the patriarchal structure and oppressive customs that continue to permeate the lives of Afghan women. On the question of liberation and the US administration's claim to have granted Afghan women liberation from Taliban, one participant said the following, In my opinion, they cannotgive it becauseeveryperson...it'sup to them.The headof the family will decidehow the women of the family shouldbe, how should they go out. United Statescannot give all women freedomit dependson the family, whateverthe family says,the head of the householdsays,in that w?y, they cannot give her freedom. (Asia) Another participant pointed out the many challenges that are still in place, which hinder women's rights. We have some laws that are favourableto women. The problem in the past was with the implementationof the law, which is also currently the case.It is true that the constitution saysthat a woman should not be given in badla fgiven away or traded], however,that tradition is still in place in the villages and town of the country. Women are given in badla,women are exchanged.It is true that we havemedia in Kabul...from the perspectiveof the law, rights are not given, rights are to be exercised,a person should  69  have the right to exercisetheir rights. It is necessaryin Afghanistanthat women are elevatedto a level where first she shouldknow her rights and then she is able to exercise her rights. Afghan women are still unawareof their rights, a woman who is illiterate, no one has goneinsideher home to give her rights...herfamily, her husband,her brother who are oppressingher, who can go and defendher rights? Who is going to look out for her? The oppressionstill exists with all its might and ferocity. An Afghan woman still doesn't inherit. . .Islam has given her half of the inheritancebut where is that man, that brother who has given her sisterhalf of the inheritance?Islam saysthat you needboth parties' consentfor a "nikah" [the contractbetweena bride and groom and part of an Islamic marriage,performedby a mullah] to proceed.But where is that mullah who will ask the girl's consentand then completethe ceremony.Thesethings have remained unchanged.It is necessaryto reachthe villagesand rural communities...Despitethe existenceof numerousorganizations,there is no one in the villages, there is no one in the farthestrural areas.Even now, without the Taliban, duringKarual' s administration,after the formation of the constitutionI heard that women were stonedto deathin Badakhshan. (Qamar)  70 Chapter Five: Discussion  Despitehaving left Afghanistanat a youn1age,I maintaincloseties with my homelandthrough community involvement, and by keeping abreastof current eventsin the country. As an Afghan woman, I was always disappointedwith the lack of media coverageaddressingwomen's concernsin Afghanistan.This, however,changed following the eventsof Septemberll, 2001,and the subsequent bombing of Afghanistan b1'theU.S. goverrlment.Theseeventsgaverise to an explosionof media frenzy,where Afghan women becamethe targetof elaboratereportsand competingdiscourses. Watching the eventsunfold, I often found myself wondering what it had been like for the Afghan women who witnessedand experiencedlife underthe Taliban's theocraticrule. I embarkedon this researchprojectto hearthe storiesof thosewomen as told by them, in orderto broadenmy perspectiveof their challengesand uniqueneeds. In this study,I explored11 Afghan women's experiencesduring the Taliban regime.The findingsrevealedthat the prolongedand pervasiveimpact of the Taliban's policiescreatedvarious experiences, responses, and challengeson the part of Afghan women.Someof the responsespertainedto the initial phasesof the Talibanregime and includedfeelingsof anxiety,worry, fear,anger,helplessness, depressive,and posttraumaticstresssymptoms.Nevertheless, what I found was that participantsseemed to havedevelopedvariouscoping strategiesthat enabledthem to dealwith their challengingcircumstances. Afghan women's resistanceand coping was evidentthrougha numberof direct confrontationsby individual women,aswell as engagingin covert, nonetheless risky operation,by turning their homesinto undergroundschoolsfor girls andwomen,and creatingcohesionand solidarityin their communities.  71 This sectiondiscusses the findingsof the studyandtheir fit with existingliterature and its relevanceto the field of counsellingpsychology.The situationof women afterthe fall of the Talibanregimewill be discussedwith a focuson the continuingchallenges facingwomen in Afghanistan;this is especiallytimely with the looming threatof a resurrectedTalibanrule in the country.Finally, implicationsfor researchand the field of counselingpsychologyare discussed,followed by suggestionsfor future directions. Fit with Existing Literature Numerousstudieshave looked into the effectsof war-relatedtraumausing PTSD criteriato assessthe level of psychologicalreactions(Cash,2006;El Sanaj et al., 1996; Kripper & Mclntyre,2003;Mollica et al., 1993,Swartz& Levett, 1989).Theseandother studieshavedemonstrated that war andpolitical instabilityhaveprofound effectson the mentalhealthof thoseit touches.The Taliban'srise to power hasbeen characterized as an armedstruggleto overthrow the Mujahideenbelonging to various ethnic and political groups.Talibandecreesprohibiting a variety of activitiesfor Afghan women and the psychologicalimpact havebeenreportedby a numberof scholarsand subsequent organrzations using the westernconceptuahzation of PTSD (PHR, 1998;Rasekhet al., 1998; Schulz& Schulz, 1999). The Afghan women's descriptionof Talibanpolicieswere consistentwith Physiciansfor Human Rights study (1998)that describedTaliban's edictsforbidding women,exceptfor thosein the healthcareprofessions,to work outsidethe home,attend school,or leavetheir homesunlessaccompaniedby a maltrara.Similarly, the participants'accountof the extremenotionsof Islam were reminiscentof the findingsby a studyby Rasekhand colleagues(1998)which indicatedthat the violationsof women's  72 rights had extraordinaryhealth consequences for Afghan women. In addition, the study by Schulz andSchulz (1999) is also relevantto the findings of the presentstudy as they analyzedthe motives and contextualunderpinningsthat led to Taliban's draconian treatmentof women. Theseauthorshighlightedfactorssuchas Taliban's drive for power andcontrol and the systematicuse of terror in the exerciseof that power. Taliban'spoliciesresultedin psychologicaldistressin someparticipants, includingfeelingsof anxiety,fear, and symptomsof depressionand posttraumaticstress corroborating the findingsof the PHR (1998)andRasekshet al. studies(1998),which reportedextraordinarilyhigh levelsof mentalstressand depression.Having describedthe findingsof this study in the contextof the existingresearchemployinga western conceptuahzationof reactionsto traumaticevents,as mentionedin the literaturereview, once agarn,it is important to caution the readersand counsellorsworking with refugees to be awareof and examinethe assumptionsthat are involved in the developmentof PTSD. The researchliteratureby and largetendsto regardspecific contactwith extreme violenceas the central and defining trauma(Cash,2006) and has neglectedother dimensions,includingthe experienceof being a refugeeitself (Summerfield,1995).In the caseof Afghan refugeesin Canada,the counsellormust remain cognrzantof the fact that in additionto their history of persecutionand atrocity, theremay be the added disorientingand sometimesdebilitating experienceof refugeelife, as an additional factor for consideration.Further,the counsellormust also bear in mind that it may not be easyto delineatethe relative contributionsof pre-andpost-flight traumasto the overallburdensthe refugeescaffy (Summerfield,1995;Bracken,2001).  73 In additionto signsof distressdescribedby participantsas they recalledtheir experiences underthe Taliban regime,this studyhighlightsthe resistance,resilienceand copingstrategiesemployedby the Afghan women.Despitethe reportsby most mainstreammedia and somescholarlyliterature(Armstrong,1997;Goodwin, 1998; Halbfinger,2002;Mann, 1998;Schulz& Schulz,1999),the Taliban'streatmentof Afghan women lackeduniformity. The variationsand inconsistencies within the Taliban discourseon women are important,as they point to the agencyof Afghan women.As examples,we can take the issueof medicalpracticeby women doctors,,solneof whom were ableto eff'ectivelynegotiatewith the more moderatemullahsto continuetheir work in hospitals.One exampleis a participant,a physician,describedearlierin the findings sectionof this studythat continuedto work in her hospitaland clinics, and attendedto male as well as femalepatients.The WFP (World Food Program)persuadedthe Taliban to allow Afghan women to run tandoors (bakeries)from where Afghans could br-ry subsidizedbread.One of the participantsalongwith her sisterworked as supervisorin the projectfor 20 months.Similarly, schoolsfor girls functionedin people'shomesin Kabr-rl, Ghazni,and Bamiyan.Remarkably,as mentionedby one participantand corroboratedby Khattak(2004),Taliban celebratedMarch 8thas InternationalWomen's Day in Kabul in the latter part of their rule. Therefore,it seemsthat what was often presentedas uniform and universal oppressionon the part of mainstreammediaand somescholars,is a misrepresentation of groundrealities.Condemnableas the Talibanwere with regardto their restrictionson women,Afghan women's agency,no matterhow limited, was presentand continuously  74 exercisedon differentoccasions.Afghan women demonstratedsuchagencynot only in the contextof the Taliban decrees,but alsobeforetheir goverrrment,and today. When looking at the situation of Afghan women post-Talibanand asking,what is theKarzai government'sstanceon women and how have women fared?The participants who visited Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban, reportedthat by and large the situationhasnot changeddrasticallyin termsof women's everydaylife underthe present setup.This is consistentwith the reportsby Human Rights Watch (2006,2008).As one participantreported,althoughsomewomen might have gainedsymbolicallyafter the US intervention,the actualimpact of policy pronouncements hasnot extendedbeyonda few urbancentres.Women's lives in rural Afghanistancontinueto be insecure,especially becausethe governmenthas formed partnershipswith many of the sameforcesthat have historicallyimpingedupon, and currentlyrestrict,women's mobility, schoolingand employment(HumanRights Watch,2006).Meanwhile,women's physical securityis not assured,and human rights abusesare neitherprotestedby the UN system(Niland, 2004) nor arethey a high priority, either for donor agenciesor the transitional governmentthat hasformedallianceswith the peoplewho exacerbatesuchviolations(Khattak,2004). If physicalsecurityis questionable, the arenaof political representation is also problematic.One participant,who pointedout the problemof multiple voting in the recentelection,went on to say that in "a given atea,a man would come and vote for 12 women...giventhis, how accurateis women'spolitical participationwhen we say that 42% of women voted." (Zahra).  75 Implications for Practice The proposedstudy gives us an understanding of the lived experiencesof Afghan \\'omenduring the Taliban regimewho arenow living in selectedurban centresin Canada andthe United States.It brings to the fore the uniqueneeds,challengesand strengthsof Afghan women immigrants during an extremelytraumaticand tumultuous time of their lives. It highlightshow thesewomen perseveredand undoubtedlychangedas a resultof their particular experiences.Most importantly, this knowledge comesto us through the voicesof the women themselves,loud, clear,and unadulterated. Knowledgegeneration, consciousness-raising and utility areintegralelementsof this study.Given the biasedand "sanitized"media coverageof the women's experiences during the Taliban regime,as well as the post-Talibanera,this study examinedthe psychologicalimpact of the Taliban regimeon Afghan women as told by the women themselves.The informationgatheredis hopedto provide the readers,suchas counsellors,socialwork and immigrationworkers, a deeperappreciationand awarenessof the experiencesof Afghan women. Ratherthan usinga clinical model, suchas a PostTraumaticStressDisordermodel, to assesstrauma andreactionsto and witnessingof war and conflicts,this study attemptedto facilitatea reflexiveand collaborativeapproachthroughsituatingitself within a qualitativeresearch inquiry. This researchframeworkprovidedspacefor thosestoriesto be sharedthat have beencensoredby dominantsocietalstructuressuchas the mainstreammedia.The framework is hoped to inspire further researchon Afghan women, leading to greater understandingand empowerrnentfor the women. It is also my hope that the study would invite multiple inquiries to further inform the lived experiencesof Afghan women and meetingtheir counsellingneeds. For the practitionersin the field of counsellingpsychology,the presentstudy  76 highlightsthe importanceof developingmulticulturalcounsellingcompetenciesas setout by the CPA and the 2005 ACA Code of Ethics.In so doing, they would be acknowledgingthe multiple cultural identitiesof the self as counsellorand client in the counsellingrelationship(Robinson& Howard-Hamilton,2000).In working with the Afghan community, counsellorscan help clients understandthat their confusion,anger, helplessness, disconnection, and depressivesymptomsarenormal reactionsto abnormal eventsthat arebeing amplified by the war. If the counsellor'scultural backgroundis differentfrom thoseof Afghans,he or shecould benefitby acknowledgingthis limitation and facilitatinghow both the client and the counsellorcould work collaborativelyto addressspecificcultural concerns.Understandingof the historical,cultural, social, religious,ethnic,and political contextsin the lives of the abovegroup is also essentialin betterservingthe Afghan community.However,counsellorsneedto balancethis by being awareof the commonalitiesthat Afghans sharewith the rest of the humanity in their effort to make senseof unusualcircumstances in their lives. This tlpe of awareness would, not doubt, help reducefurther marginahzatronof a group that continuesto strugglewith the ghostsof their troubledpast. Furthermore,ratherthan using a clinical model, suchas PTSD to assesstrauma andreactionsto witnessingof the war and conflicts,this studyfacilitateda reflexive and collaborativeapproach,by giving spacefor the Afghan women's experiencesto be shared.However,counsellorsand otherpractitionersin the community are encouragedto be awareof the possibility of trauma-relatedsymptomsand responses,as well as the indicatorsof depressionand anxiety in this population.Given that Afghans have experiencedmultiple stressors,it is importantto acknowledgethem (i.e., the influenceof  77 previouswars, displacementand refugee-related challenges)and provide supportwhen they are facedwith continuedcoverageof stressfulsituationsin their country of origin. In addition, the information gatheredthrough this study might help in the provision and establishmentof individual or group supportfor Afghans women. Due to cultural differencesand upbringing, various ethnic minorities do not seekout professional help in the form of psychotherapyand dependon their families and communitiesto provideemotionalsupportduring crisis.However,due to immigration and displacement, Afghans,including someof the participantsof this study,do not have the type of validation sourcesor supportnetworks that they might have had in Afghanistan. Therefore,healthcareprofessionalscould play an importantrole in connectingthe Afghan expatriatesto resourceswithin and beyondtheir communities.  Directionsfor Future Research The findings of this study confirm the significanceof the Taliban regime'simpact on the lives of Afghan women. The participantsin this study were 11 Afghan women living in GreaterToronto Area, Canada;Maryland, Virginia, United States,and Kabul, Afghanistan.In this sample,the averagelength of stay in Canadaand the United States was one month to six years,indicating a group that is likely influencedby the recent effectsof refugeelife and or the immigrationprocess,and arenot yet economicallyand culturally adjusted.Moreover,with limited knowledgeof the English language,aswas the casefor more than one half of the participants,it would be interestingto examinethe settlementneedsof the participantsand its impact and significancefor the counselling process.  78 In addition, given the current instability in Afghanistanand the increasingTaliban insurgency,it would be fascinatingto once againexaminethe current experienceof Afghan women in Afghanistan.As the sampleconsistedof threeethnic groups,inclusion of different ethnic and religious groupsmight bring forth different narratives.Research conductedin Afghanistan could greatly add to the diversity of the sample. Future researchcould alsobenefit from looking at the impact of the Taliban regime on families as a whole. SinceAfghans are closelytied with their families and communities, experiences of individualsalonecan give us a limited understandingof the experiencesof the communityas a whole. In examining the patternsof distressand adaptationin this group, it is imperative to move beyondmerely listing symptomsor charactenzinesyndromes.Adopting the frameworkof "liberation psychology"may leadto a more nuancedunderstandingof the complexitiesof an inquiry. Psychologyof liberationis an approachthat has emerged from the South(Guillory & Villanueva, 1990),which attemptsto workwithpeople in contextthroughstrategiesthat enhanceawareness of oppressionand of the ideologiesand structuralinequalitythat havekept them subjugatedand oppressed.This, it is believed would facilitatecollaborationwith the groupand help developcritical analyses,as well as engagethem in a transformingpraxis. Psychologyof liberation may function as an alternativeto or in conjunction with mainstreamwesternapproaches.It may offer resourcesto strengthenthe capacityof Afghanistan'snext generationto reconceptualize the effectsof war and terror as well asto accompanyaffectedpopulationsin their strugglesto reclaim their ethnic and cultural roots and constructidentities within plural ethnicand multiracial societies.  79 The aftereffectsof political repressionareone of the thorniestproblems confrontedby many countries.ln additionto damagingpersonallives, suchrepression harmsthe social structuresthemselves- the norrns,values,and principles by which peopleare educatedand the institutionsthat governthe lives of citizens(Martin-Baro, 1989).Counsellingpsychologists arenot calledto literallyrebuildsocialsystemsand structuresdestroyedby war. Suchis the work of politicians,policymakers,engineers,and so on. However,counsellorsare challengedto understandthesemultiple levelsof social upheavaland to accompanya peopleas they reconstructtheir individual and collective lives. One task of the counselingpsychologistsmay be to constructtheory basedon these experiences to inform the survival,healing,and reconstructionof the clients,and empowerthem to do the samewith their cultures. Limitations The presentstudy was embeddedwithin a qualitative design aimed at bringing forth the experiencesof Afghan women under the Taliban regime. Therefore,the intent of this researchwas not generahzability.Due to time and distanceconstraints,only a singlein-depthindividual interview sessionwas conductedwith eachparticipant.It is also recognrzedthat eachindividual interview has its own unique characteristics,thus highlighting the fact that the opinions of the participantsare not intendedto representthat of all Afghan women who experiencedlife underthe Talibanregime.Although the samplewas drawn from a few urban centres,it remainslimited, suggestingan influence of the geographicareaon the participants.This samplewas exclusivelycomprisedof womenwith an averageageof 33 years,therefore,the studydid not look at gender differences.  80 Interviews and the information gatheredthrough this mechanismas well as the analysisof transcriptsdependedon the skills of the researcherand her own assumptions andbiases.It is during thesestagesthat researchersare requiredto pay attentionto "expectedand unanticipatedaspectsof an experience"and acknowledgethe natureof data,while interpretingthe transcripts(Polkinghorne,2005,p. contextuahzed 143).Journalingand debriefing with the researchteam helpedreducesome of the above limitations. An additional limitation of this study is that it produceddata in the form of the voicesof participantsor in otherwords, self-reportdata.According to Polkinghorne (2005),self-reportdatadependson participants'memory and ability to understandand throughlanguage.Self-reportdata reflecton variousaspectsof their lived experiences cannotbe construedas "mirrored reflectionsof experience"(p.139).Full accessto participants'entireexperienceswas not possibleand the researcherhad to sufficewith "partralaccess"(p. 139) to suchdata,which becomesparticularlychallengingin this retrospectivestudy where participantswere relying on eventsthat occurredfive to ten yearsago. Furthermore,translatingfrom one languageto anothercan be a very complex task,due to subtledifferencesin meaning(Kapborg& Bertero,2002). Sincesome interviewswere conductedin the participants'native language(Dari) and in turn, translatedinto English,it is unavoidablethat somewords could not be translatedinto Englishbecauseof cultural differencesor nonequivalentwords. There could be many expressionsand metaphorsthat might not be fully appreciatedin a different language. Therefore,the translationfrom Dari to Englishpresentsa point of potentialloss of  81 meaning.Polkinghorne(2005) also cautionedresearchers in attributingmeaningor making inferencesfrom the expressionsgiven by thosewhosefirst languageis different from that of the researcher,this did not posea challengeas Dari is my first language. 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What was the impact of the Talibanregime'spolicieson different aspectsof your life? 2.What is your perceptionof how otherAfghan women living in Afghanistanatthat time, havebeenaffectedby the Taliban? 3. If therewere times when life under the Taliban reign was difficult for you, how did you cope? 4. To what extenthave thoseexperiencesshapedyour life today? 5. What are your reactionsto the mediacoverageof your culture,people,country and especiallyAfghan women during the Talibanregime? 6. After the Talibanwere oustedfrom power,haveyou noticedany changesin your reactionto the media coverageof your culture,peopleand country? 7. What would you like to tell the outsideworld about your experiencesand the experiencesof other Afghan women during the Taliban regime?  91 Appendix B Interview Guide  Dear <insert name here). Thanks for participating in this study and volunteeringyour time. The purposeof this study is to understand the experiencesof Afghan women during the Taliban regime. Through this research,we hope to learn more about the Afghan women, and help 1'oushareyour stories. I would like to remind you that this researchis voluntary, so if at any point you experiencediscomfort, pleaselet me know. If you decidenot to participate,it will not affect your current or future relationshipwith the University of Windsor. You have the nght to refuseto participate,to decline to answerany questions,or to withdraw your consentand terminate your participation in this study at any time without penaltyof any kind.  The information you will share will be kept anonymousand completelyconfidential and I will remove any information that could identify you.  Pleasego at your own pace. This study involvesthe following steps: 1. Readingand signing the consentform, 2. Completingthe DemographicInformation, 3. Participating in a 1.5 hour interviewwith the interviewer, 4. Receivingthe list of available sourcesof support, and wrap up.  Pleasenow take your time, read and sign the consentform. At thispoint, presentthe consentform.  Now, I would like you to cornpletethe Demographic Infbrmation sheet.  Presentthe DemographicInformationsheet.  So, how long have you lived in Canada(or Unites Statesf How do you find it? Other questionsto build rapport.  92  take your time to reflect on each question' Now I would like to ask you some in-depth questionsabout your experience.Please  pleasetell me about the impact of the Taliban regime's policies on different aspects of your life? To elicit specificinformation,following questionswill be usedasprompts: l. What was the impact of the Taliban regime's policieson different aspects of your life? I rvill startwith the aboveopen-endedquestion.If I do not receivespecificanswers,I will inquire about specific urp.Ctr of their lives such as:physical, mental, emotional, social spiritual and political. Z. What is your perception of how other Afghan women living in Afghaniituo at that timeohave been affectedby the Taliban regime? I will startwith the aboveopen-endedquestion.If I do not receivespecificanswers'I will inquire aboutthe following: family, friends and the Afghan community? 3. If there were times when the impact of Taliban regime was difficult for You,how did You coPe? I will startwith the aboveopen-endedquestion.If I do not receivespecificanswers'I will inquire aboutthe following: a. Did you talk to a friend? b. Did you talk to a familY member? c. Did you praY? d. Did you talk to a mental heatth professional, e.g. a counselor? e. Are there any additional sourcesof support that you might have accessedto cope that I am not inquiring ubout? 4. To what extent have thoseexperiencesshapedyour life today? If they answeryes to the abovequestion,I will prompt them to tell me about particularchangesas a result of their experiences. (pleasetell me specffically how your life, views,and outlook have been shaped.) 5. What are your reactionsto the media coverageof your culture, people, country and especiatlyAfghan women during the Taliban regime? 6. After the Taliban were oustedfrom power, have you noticed any changes in your reaction to the media coverageof your culture, peopleand countrv?  93 7. What would you like to tell the outsideworld about your experiencesand the experiencesof other Afghan women during the Taliban regime? Throughoutthis interview, the following statementsand questionswill help me clanfy participants'answers: o . . .  Pleasetell me more about... What do you meanby...? Can you give me anotherexampleof...? Is thereanythingmore that you would like to add regarding...?  Finally, I will ask them the following question: Is there anyhing elseyou would like to add that mrght have been missedduring the interview?  Sincewe are talking about a personaltopic, I would like to provide you with a list of various multicultural servicesin the community as well as low-costsupport and counselingservicesthat are availablein the city of Windsor and the Greater Toronto Area. This is in caseyou feel distressedafter our interview, or if you feel like you would like to talk to someoneabout this topic or related issues. At thispoint presentthe list of availableresourcesin the community.  I will then thank them for their participation. Thank you for your participation. Once I get a chanceto transcribe and analyzethis interview information, I will call you to set up a half an hour individual appointmentwith you so that I could get your feedback.  94 Appendix C CONSENT TO PARTICIPATE IN RESEARCH [Printedon U of Windsor Departmentof PsychologyLetterhead] Title of Study:Countering the Dominant Discourse:Afghan Women Speak You are askedto participatein a researchstudyconductedby BeheshtaJaghori,M. A. (Candidate),and Kathryn Lafrenire,PhD., Departmentof Psychologyat the University of Windsor.This researchis being conductedaspart of the requirementsfor Beheshta Jaghorito completea Master of Arts (MA) in the Applied SocialPsychologyProgramme at the University of Windsor. If you have any questionsor concernsaboutthe research,pleasefeel to contactBeheshta Jaghoriat (519) 252-4566or Dr. Kathryn Lafrenireat (519) 253-3000ext.2233.  Purpose: The purposeof this studyis to examinethe lived experiencesof Afghan womenduring the Taliban regime. It is hopedthat this researchwill give spacefor the voicesof Afghan women. Similarly, it will help bring forth an understandingof the unique challengesand strengthsthat Afghan women in Canadahave exhibited during a traumaticand tumultuous time of their lives. Procedures: If you chooseto participatein this study,you will be interviewedfor 1.5 hour by the co-investigator,BeheshtaJaghori. During this interview, you will alsobe askedto fiIl out a brief demographicinformation sheet.The interviews will be audiotaped,translatedinto English (wherenecessary),transcribedand later analyzedfor patternsand themes. Do you give consentto Audio taping  n Yes  !  No  Potential Risks and Discomforts: Thereareno directrisks associatedwith this study. Sincetalking aboutthe impact of the Talibanregimeon your life is a relatively sensitive topic, it may causesomeemotionaldiscomfort.A list of availablecounselingand support resourceswill be provided in caseyou decideto speakwith someoneaboutrelatedtopic following your participation. Potential Benefits to Participants and/or to Society:The potentialbenefit of this study is that it will give you the opportunityto presentthe Afghan women's perspective regardinglife during the Taliban regime. Similarly, it will give you a chanceto have your concernsand experiencesshared.This could potentially be helpful to you and may allow you to processyour feelingsand thoughtsaroundthis particularissue.It is hopedthat this projectwill inform the field of communitypsychology,cross-culturalpsychologyandthe mediarelateddomains. Payment for Participation: Therewill be no monetarycompensationto participants.  95 Confidentiality: Any information that is obtainedin connectionwith this study and that can be identified with you will remain confidentialand will be disclosedonly with your permission.The recordsfor this researchwill be kept private, in a locked cabinetby the principal investigator.Similarly, no information will be included that will disclosethe identity of the participants.While the transcribedinterview data is on computer,they will be passwordprotected.Respondentswill not be identified by name in any reportsof the completedstudy.The datawill be destroyedafter one year, and your identity will be kept confidential. Participation and Withdrawal: You can choosewhetherto be in this studyor not. If you volunteerto be in this study, you may withdraw at anytime without consequences of any kind. You may also refuseto answerany questionsyou don=t want to answerand still remain in the study. The investigatormay withdraw you from this researchif circumstancesarisewhich warrant doing so. If you chooseto withdraw at anytime before the studyis complete,all the informationyou providedwill be destroyed. Feedbackof the Results of this Study to the Participants: A summaryof the study resultswill be sentto you when the researchis completedupon your request.The study resultsare anticipatedto be availablein September,2006.Pleaseindicateif you wish to recelvea summaryof the results. Would you like to receivea summaryof results? EYes tr No SubsequentUse of Data: This datamay be usedin subsequentstudies. Do you give consentfor the subsequentuse of the datafrom this study?  lYes  nNo  Rights of Research Participant: You may withdraw your consent at any time and discontinueparticipationwithout penalty.If you havequestionsregardingyour rights as a researchsubject,contact: ResearchEthics Coordinator,University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario,N9B 3P4;telephone:519-253-3000,ext. 3916;e-mail: lbunn@uwindsor.ca. Signature of ResearchParticipant: I understandthe informationprovided for the study Counteringthe Dominant Discourse: Afghan WomenSpeak as describedherein. My questionshave been answeredto my satisfaction,and I agreeto participate in this study. I havebeengiven a copy of this form.  Name of Participant  Signatureof Participant  Date  Signatureof Investigator: Thesearethe termsunderwhich I will conductresearch. Signatureof Investigator  Date  96 Appendix D  List of Multicultural Support Servicesand CounsellingResources If afterour interview, you feel distressed,or if you feel like you would like to talk to someoneaboutthis topic, the following servicesare availablefor you. Multicultural Resources Toronto AccessAlliance Multicultural CommunityHealth Centre AcrossBoundaries,An EthnoracialMental Health Centre Afghan Women'sCounselingand Community SupportOrganization Windsor-Essex Multicultural Council of Windsor-EssexCountv  (416)324-8677 (416)787-3007 (416)s88-3s85  ( 5 1 ez)s s - r r 2  Support Servicesand CounsellingServices Ottawa CanadianMental Health Association.OttawaBranch Royal OttawaHospital Royal Ottawa Health Care Group Toronto Centrefor Addiction and Mental Health COSTI Family and Mental Health Services Sunnybrookand Women's CollegeHealth SciencesCentre: Brief PsychotherapyCentrefor Women Women's Counseling,Referraland EducationCentre  (613)737-77er (613)722-6s21 (613)722-6s2r (416)53s-8s01 (416)244-7714 (416)591-2000 (416)s34-7 s01  Vireinia Mental Health Associationof Virginia NationalAlliance on Mental Illness The National EmpowermentCenter  (804)-225-5s91 (804)-22s-8264 1-800-769-3728  Windsor-Essex CanadianMental Health Association,Windsor-EssexCounty WindsorRegionalHospital,WesternCampus Alive! Canada DistressCentre  (519)2ss-7 440 (s19)2s4-ss77 (51e)973-4423 (51e) 2s6-5000  PrincipalInvestigator:BeheshtaJaghori(student) FacultySupervisor:Kathy Lafreniere,PhD.  (s1e)2s2-4s66 (51e) 2s3-3000  97 Appendix E Letter of Information for Consentto Participate in Research Dear memberof the Afghan Community, I am conductinga graduateresearchstudyentitled"Countering the Dominant Discourse: Afghan Women Speak" aspart of a Masterof Arts degreerequirementin the Applied SocialPsychologyProgrammeat the University of Windsor, underthe supervisionof Dr. Kathryn Lafreniere.The purposeof this study is to understandthe lived experiences of Afghan women during the Talibanregime. Your participationis welcome if you: o . .  ldentify yourself as an Afghan woman, or Afghan-Canadianwoman; Are female (age 25 and over); Are currently living in Windsor or the Greater Toronto Areal  Your participationwould involve: .  Discussingwith an Afghan femaleresearcher,BeheshtaJaghori your experiencesand stories. o A confidential,audio-recordedface-to-faceinterview for 1-1.5hours at a mutuallv convenientlocation. o A brief 30-minutefollow-up to discussthe initial findings.  Voluntary Particip ation Your decisionto participatein this is entirelyvoluntaryand if you decidenot to participate,it will not affect your currentor future relationshipwith the University of Windsor. You have the right to refuseto participate,to declineto answerany questions, or to withdraw your consentand terminateyour participationin this study at any time without penaltyof any kind. Completely Confi dential The information you will sharewill be kept anonymousand completely confidential and I will remove any information that could identify you. All documentsand audiotapeswill be kept in a locked filing cabinet. While the transcribedinterview datais on computer, they will be passwordprotected.Summaryresultsof the studywill be availableto you upon completionof the study.  If you, or someoneyou know, would like to participatein this study or would like more informationaboutthis research,contactBeheshtaJaghoriat (519) 2522-4566(please leavea messagewith your contactnumber).OnceI get your message,I will then call you back to speakto you directly.  98 Through this research,we hope to learn more about the Afghan women and provide spacefor your storiesto be heard. Thank BeheshtaJaghori M.A. Candidate,Dept. of Psychology Universityof Windsor Windsor,ON N9B 3P4 Phone:(519)252-4566 e-mail: jaghon@uwindsor.ca  99 Appendix F TelephoneQuestions Dear<insertnamehere), Thanksfor your interestin participatingin this study.I will ask you a few questionsto learnif you could be part of this researchproject.I am interestedin learningaboutthe experiences of Afghan women during the Talibanregime. Pleasetake your time to answerthe following questions. Do you identify yourself as an Afghan woman? Are you currentlyliving in the city of Windsor or the GreaterToronto Area? Are you 25 yearsor older? Are you willing to shareyour experienceof what it haswas like to live in Afghanistanduring the Taliban regime? 5. Do you believethat you will be ableto shareyour experienceswithout experiencingunduedistress? 6. Are you willing to participatein a 1.5hour individual interview in aplace that is convenientfor you? 7. Are you willing to be consultedbriefly for a secondtime (for half an hour) to verify the collected and analyzedinterview information? 8. Are you willing to volunteeryour time without receivingany monetary compensation? 9. Have you readthe InformationSheetfor PotentialParticipantson this study? 10.Are you able and willing to provideinformedconsent? 11. Do you havemy researchsupervisor'sor my telephonecontactnumberin case any questionscome up for you afterthis conversation? 12.Do you have any questionsaboutthis studyor your participationin this study? 13. If the answersto questions1-13 arein the affirmative,then a mutually agreeable time and placewill be scheduledfor the interview at this point. Otherwise,the individual will be thankedfor his or her interestand will be excludedfrom participation. 1. 2. 3. 4.  100 Appendix G Demographic Information DemographicInformation (do NOT write your name on this sheet)Code Number 1.  Age:  2.  Gender: Male Female  3.  Ethnicity:  1.  what is the highestlevel of educationyou havecompleted?  5.  Are you: Unemployed  6.  What is your current occupation?  7.  What was your occupationbefore coming to Canada?  8.  Wherewere vou born?  9.  Are you a Landed Immigrant? Yes_,  Employed  Full time  part Time  No  10. If yes,when did you or your family immigrateto Canada? Year 11. Are you a CanadianCitizen?Yes  _, No  12. How long have you lived in Toronto (to be modified accordingly)? 13. How many peoplelive in your household? 14. Do you have anyonefrom your immediatefamily, relativesor friendswho reside in Afghanistan?If yes,pleasedescribeyour relationship(s):  15.what is yourannualhousehold income?Pleasecircleone. Lessthan$20,000 to $40,000 $20,000 to $60,000 $41,000 to $80,000 $61,000 to $100,000 $81,000 greaterthan$100,000  101 Appendix H Sampleof Taliban DecreesRelatedto Women  (This translationfrom Dari was handedto Westernagenciesto implement; the grammarand spellingsare reproducedhere as they appearedin the original. Adapted from Rashid(2000,p. 217-2I9) 1. Decreeannouncedby the General Presidencyof Amr Bil Maruf and Nai Az Munkar (ReligiousPolice).Kabul, November 1996. Women you shouldnot stepoutsideyour residence.If you go outsidethe houseyou shouldnot be like women who usedto go with fashionableclotheswearingmuch cosmeticsand appearingin front of everymen beforethe coming of Islam. Islam as a rescuingreligion hasdeterminedspecificdignity for women, Islam has valuableinstructionsfor women. Women shouldnot createsuch opportunity to attractthe attentionof uselesspeoplewho will not look at them with a good eye.Women havethe responsibilityas a teacheror coordinatorof her family. Husband,brother,fatherhavethe responsibilityfor providing the family with necessarylife requirements(food, clothes, etc).In casewomen are requiredto go outsidethe residencefor the purposesof education,socialneedsor socialservicesthey shouldcoverthemselvesin accordance with Islamic Shariaregulation.If women are going outsidewith fashionable,ornamental, tight and charmingclothesto show themselves,they will be cursedby the and could neverexpectto go to heaven. All family eldersand everyMuslim havethe responsibilityin this respect.We requestall family eldersto keeptight control over their families and avoid thesesocial problems.Otherwisethesewomen will be threatened,investigatedand severelypunished aswell as the family eldersby the forcesof the ReligiousPolice (Munkrat). The Religious Police (Munlcrat)have the responsibility and duty to struggle againstthesesocialproblemsand will continuetheir effort until evil is finished. z. Rulesof work for the StateHospitalsand private clinics basedon Islamic Sharia principals. Ministry of Health, on behalf of Amir ul Momineen Mullah Mohammad Omar. KabuloNovember 1996.  1 . Femalepatientsshouldgo to femalephysicians.In casea male physicianis needed,the femalepatient shouldbe accompaniedby her closerelative. 2 . During examination,the femalepatientsand male physiciansboth shouldbe dressedwith Islamic hijab (veil).  r02 3. Male physiciansshouldnot touch or seethe otherpartsof femalepatientsexcept for the affectedpart. 4. waiting room for femalepatientsshouldbe safelycovered. 5. The personwho regulatesturn for femalepatientsshouldbe female. 6. During the night duty, in what rooms which femalepatientsare hospitalized,the male doctorwithout the call of the patientis not allowedto enterthe room. 7. Sitting and speakingbetweenmale and femaledoctorsarenot allowed,if therebe needfor discussion,it shouldbe donewith hijab. 8. Femaledoctorsshouldwear simpleclothes,they arenot allowedto wear stylish clothesor use cosmeticsor make-up. 9. Femaledoctorsand nursesarenot allowedto enterthe rooms wheremale patients are hosprtahzed. 10.Hospital staff shouldpray in mosqueon time. 11. The ReligiousPolice are allowedto go for control at anytime and nobody can preventthem. Anybody who violatesthe orderwill be punishedasper Islamic regulations. 3. General Presidencyof Amr Bil Maruf. Kabul, December1996. I . To preventseditionand femaleuncovers(Be HUabi). No driversare allowedto pick up women who are using Iranianburqa.In caseof violation the driver will be imprisoned.If suchkind of femaleareobservedin the streettheir housewill be found and their husbandpunished.If the female are using stimulating or attractive cloth and thereis no accompanyof closemale relativewith them, the drivers shouldnot pick them up.  103 Appendix I ResearchEthics Certificate  U . N I  V  E  $.% 9S R  S  I  T  Y  O  F  WII{DSOR OFFICE OF RESEARCH  SERVICES  RESEARCH ETHICS BOARD  Today'sDate: April 19,2006 Principal trtvestigator: Ms. BeheshtaJaghori Deparh'nent/School:Psychology REB Number: 06-114 ResearchProject Title: Cou:rteringthe dominantdiscourse:Afghan womenspeak ClearanceDate: April 19,2406 hoject End Date: August37, 2006 lrogress Report Due: Final RepoitDue: August 3i,20A6  This is to inform you that the Universrty of Wrndsor Research Ethics Board. (REB), which is orgarrized and 'Windsor operated according to the Tri-Council Policy Statement and the University of Guidelines for Research Involving Human Subjects, has granted approval to your research project on the date noted above. This approval is valid only rmtil the Project End Date. A Progress Report or Final Report is due by the date noted above. The REB may ask for monitoring informatiot at some time during the project's approval period. During the course of the research, no deviations fror4 or changes to, the protocol or consent form may be rnitiated without prior written approval from the REB. Minor change(s) in ongoing studies will be sonsidered when submitted on the Request to Revise fonn. Investigators must also report promptiy to the REB: a) changes increasing the risk to the participa:rt(s) and/or affecting significantly the conduct of the study; b) all adverse and unexpected experiences or events that are both serious and urexpected; c) new inforrnation that may adversely affect the safety of the subjects or the conduct of the study. Forms for submissions, notifications, or changes are available on the REB website: www.uwindsor.calreb. 'We wish you every success in your rgsearch.  Maureen Muidoon, Ph.D.  fr?to, o*T::! cc:  tthics Board  Dr. KefhrynLafreniere,Psycholory Linda Bunn. Research Ethics Coordinator  This is an official documenL Pleaseretain the orieinal in vour flies.  4 O l  S U N S E T C H R Y S L E R I i A L L T O W E R W I N D S O R O N T A R I O C A N A D A N 9 B : . P . C T E L E P H o N E : 5 1 9 1 2 5 3 -j 0 0 0 ( 3 9 l 6 ) F A X : 5 l 9 l g 7 7 - 3 6 6 7 ' W S E : ' ; p w . u w i n d s o r - c a . / r c b.  


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