Why Afghan women are never called by names

Women in Afghanistan are rarely called by their names according to Afghan traditions.

They are normally referred to as the daughter, sisters, aunties, mothers, Ms and so on.

Names called out publicly might even sometimes be considered as an insult to a woman.

Why Afghan women are never called by names

According to some reports, recording a mother’s name on a birth certificate is even against the Afghan law. 

However Afghan women’s rights activists are campaigning for this to be changed.

The popular hashtag  #WhereIsMyName, launched on social media, has already been widely circulated in the country and abroad. 

Why Afghan women are never called by names

The organisers even launched a campaign to ‘break the taboo’ of calling women by their names in public. 

Campaigner Bahar Sohaili told the New York Times: ‘This is just a spark — the posing of a question mostly to the Afghan women about why their identity is denied. The reality is that women also remain silent — they don’t protest this.’

Many women in the country feel that the habit of names’ substitution with titles is so deep-rooted that men pick it up from the elders.

They feel simply uncomfortable or even embarrassed to mention the names of their female relatives outside of the house. 

Why Afghan women are never called by names

Invisible women

So what their headstone might read?

Sharia shapes life

Some though make exceptions

So #WhereIsMyName?

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