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"Between Life and War: The Struggles of Afghan Women"
For women, the dangers of war go far beyond the violence of combat. In situations of armed conflict, women suffer some of the greatest health and social inequities in the world. Those who are civilian casualties suffer tremendous hardships where they have limited access to proper medical care due to continued violence and a lack of security in their areas. Afghanistan's lack of social development is blamed for the way women are treated, with much of the horror attributed to tradition and religion. A young woman can be sold off to men 3 times their ages to pay off debts, sometimes they can be traded for sheep or even opium. In Taliban infested villages young females are often living without the right to a proper education. They also cope with a variety of atrocities from rape, domestic violence, to forced marriage. The worst case scenario is self-immolation, when women set themselves on fire in an act of utter desperation.
GHARMBOLOQ, AFGHANISTAN -JUNE 12 : Hava Gul, 70, waits to see a doctor complaining about her left eye at a local mosque made into a makeshift mobile health clinic June 12, 2011, in the village of Gharmboloq, in Shahidan district, Afghanistan. Mobile health units (MHU) employed by the Agency for Assistance and Development of Afghanistan (AADA) supported by the United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA) cover communities that are inaccessible, underserved and underprivileged. There are six mobile health teams working in Bamiyan, Yakawlang, Waras, Panjab and Kahmard districts. Each mobile health unit consists of a doctor, a mid-wife, and a vaccinator. Their mandate is to reach approximately 100,000 individuals in 400 villages providing free medical health care.
(Photo by Paula Bronstein /Getty Images)