At Aria Grace Law, we live and breathe diversity and equality and have equal profit share and flexibility at the core of our #EthicalWorld business model. We are thrilled to celebrate International Women's Day today with all of our colleagues and clients in various jurisdictions in the world including in England, Ireland, Germany and South Africa.
We are, however, acutely aware, that not all females in the world can celebrate International Women's Day and feel compelled to write about these women. One of our lawyers recently read, "The Underground Girls of Kabul" by Jenny Nordberg and explained that it was an immensely moving book on how girls and women in Afghanistan have to disguise themselves as boys and men. As today is International Women's Day, we want to share more information on this eye-opening book that says a lot about the writer and those mentioned in the book.
Nordberg is an investigative journalist who spent some time in Afghanistan to learn about what is known as, "bacha posh". The phrase, “bacha posh” literally translated from Dari to English says, “dressed up as boys” and Nordberg explains that girls and women in Afghanistan are compelled to become “bacha posh”. This is so they can have some freedom and opportunities such as to work outside of the family home. This is not surprising in light of the Thomson Reuters Foundation's research which has listed Afghanistan as the second most dangerous place in the world to be female. Choice, safety and security for females is very limited.
Nordberg's work includes real-life accounts from girls and women who live their lives by being, "bacha posh" in order to survive and be content. The output of her research, on the one hand, is truly heart-breaking, whilst on the other hand, shows a great deal about female character. Nordberg insightfully wrote the following in her book, “…dressing your daughter as a son, or walking out the door as a man, are only two of the creative ways Afghan women buck an impossible system. It tells us this: Being born with power, as a boy, doesn’t necessarily spur innovation. But being born entirely without it forces innovation in women, who must learn to survive almost from the moment they are born.”. This powerfully shows the beauty and strength of women in this situation.
Whilst women in Afghanistan are not able to celebrate International Women's Day in the same way of those in England and certain other countries, we want the world to recognise their situation and strength. We believe that in order to create an #EthicalWorld where there is equality, we also need more people like Nordberg to investigate, to educate, to inspire. Nordberg has told stories to show inequality and self-empowerment through creativity and we want to thank her for taking a risk to share this with us. She should be celebrated for sharing information on the “bacha posh”. It takes super – “human” courage to visit a war-torn country to find out about how other people cope and her determination to tell the truth in a non-judgemental and honest manner has to be appreciated.
At Aria Grace Law, we would love to hear your stories. Help us to work towards creating a world where every woman can celebrate International Women's Day. Wherever you are in the world, we want you to tell us what International Women's Day means to you and if you are facing inequality, share your ideas on how change can happen. We want to give you that platform. Whilst we are highly experienced commercial lawyers, we are first humans with a social conscience and a heart with a goal of leaving a better legacy for the next generations. We are in the process of launching our offshoot #EthicalWorld website where we will be promoting and sharing stories from all over the world about ethics and our hope for equality and how we can make progress. On 8 March 2020 we want to publish your stories, so send them over to us and we will share them with either your name or anonymously (if you prefer).