Jan 13, 2012

Widows are the same everywhere

I watched a documentary on September 11th.  But this was not just about September 11th it was a parallel between two countries, the United States and Afghanistan.  The documentary dealt with the widows of this tragedy.  Not just American widows, also Afghan widows too.  I was deeply moved by this short film.  Susan Retik and Patti Quigley documented their journey to Afghanistan to meet the Afghan widows they have worked to empower. If an Afghan woman is widowed and has children she is dependent upon the family of her husband. A husband is considered as "shade" for the women. As long as he is alive, his wife sits in his "shade". Once the shade is gone she is exposed to the elements. Often she lives in extreme poverty. The culture prevents her from having an ordinary job because she is a woman. To honor her family, the woman is required to wear a burka out in public.  If she remarries then her children remain with her husbands family while she lives with her new husband, which is a price many of them would rather not pay.  The contrast between American life and that of Afghanistan is striking and at times hard to fathom.

I have to admit I cried when I watched this film.  Women are the same the world over.  Many of the women said that their whole lives were horrible. They cried together as they opened their hearts to one another. Then I think about my own life. I am truly blessed.