There is no word for “single mother” in the Pashto or Dari, the two major languages spoken throughout Afghanistan, yet after four decades of conflict— from the Soviet invasion to the war on terror— millions of women in Afghanistan are raising children on their own. These women are one of Afghanistan’s most vulnerable populations. Some have had to flee abusive spouses, others have lost their husbands in combat or terrorist attacks and some became pregnant before marriage and have been charged with “moral crimes.” Widows in particular are seen as morally suspect or symbols of bad luck; In a country where few women are literate or have ever worked outside the home, many widows are forced into remarriage, frequently to a brother of their late husband, and those who choose to remarry outside the family risk losing custody of their children.
This is the tale of Single Mothers of Afghanistan told through photographs, a humane story picturing another side of life in a war torn country. (2016)