Imagine being surrounded byÂ women and girls, all victims of crime… Some are rustling blue ghosts, coming and going, sitting on a filthy floor in a corner of a forlorn building, behind a man (a husband? a father? a son?),Â holding aÂ baby with dirty cheeks and even dirtier clothes on a lap, their blue burqas as dirty as their babies and the floors.
I used to think the burqas isolated the woman. Â I never realized how you can feel the penetrating gaze -through the thick mesh of that burqa- of women who have lost everything in their world.Â I tried so hard not to stare in sadness at these blue ghosts, and others who had their faces uncovered, where you could see the deep furrows of despair.
I have neverÂ experienced this collective of furtive women, hiding behind veils.Â These were surreal surroundingsâ€¦ biblical scenes in terms of fashion and decrepitude.
Yet,Â there is aÂ glimmer of hope:Â Â today, these women and girls, who are victims of crime,Â have a place to go;Â even their family members are bringing them to seek protection, justice and shelter.Â See the UN’s report:Â Â Still a Long Way to Go: Implementation of the Law on Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan.