Unfathomable imponderables.

Imagine being surrounded by 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?), holding a 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.  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.  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 never experienced this collective of furtive women, hiding behind veils.  These were surreal surroundings… biblical scenes in terms of fashion and decrepitude.

Yet, there is a glimmer of hope:  today, these women and girls, who are victims of crime, have a place to go; even their family members are bringing them to seek protection, justice and shelter.  See the UN’s report:   Still a Long Way to Go: Implementation of the Law on Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan.

On her way to a prison visit.

On her way to a prison visit.

About Barbara Dillon Hillas

Mother of global nomads; wife of diplomat; peripatetic lawyer; annotator of foreign service life, rule of law, culture, travel, & whatever strikes my fancy.
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